Relationship between depression and pathological internet use among university students

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Fabio Ogachi Maroma
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4055-9955
Muchiri Karega
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0943-2742
John Samson Oteyo

Abstract

There is a rapid growth in internet use in Kenya and especially among university students. This puts them at risk of becoming pathological internet users. This study sought to establish the relationship between depression and pathological internet use among university students in Kenya. The study used correlational design to establish the relationship between the variables. The target population was university students in Kenya. Convenience sampling was used to sample students from one public university and one private university. A total of 400 respondents participated in the study. Young’s Internet Addiction Test and Beck Depression Inventory were adapted to measure pathological internet use and depression respectively. Davis’ cognitive model of pathological internet use provided a theoretical basis for the study. Percentages and measures of central tendency were used to describe the data. The findings revealed a prevalence of 16.8% of pathological internet use and a prevalence of 23.6% of depression. Independent samples T-test was used to test for differences in pathological internet use between male and female students. The findings revealed that female students were likely to be pathological internet users compared to male students. Pearson’s product moment correlation was used to establish the relationship between depression and pathological internet use and it was found that a weak positive relationship existed between depression and pathological internet use.  Based on the findings, it was concluded that there was need to identify and help the affected students exercise moderation and self control when using the internet in order for them to achieve their academic and  lifetime goals. The findings of the study also provide empirical evidence on the gender differences in depression and pathological internet use which may be useful in improving counseling interventions for university students.

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How to Cite
Maroma, F., Karega, M., & Oteyo, J. (2019). Relationship between depression and pathological internet use among university students. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 14(2), 201-207. https://doi.org/10.18844/cjes.v14i2.3123
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