EU NET ADB: A qualitative study of internet addictive behaviour in middle adolescence

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EU NET
ADB
: A qualitative study of internet addictive
behaviour

in middle adolescence

1


Safer internet

This project is funded under the
Safer Internet

programme,

a multiannual Community Programme on promoting safer use of the Internet and new online
technologies
.

http://ec.europa.eu/saferinternet

SI
-
2010
-
KEP
-
4101007

Dreier, M.
1
,
Tzavela, E.
2
, Wölfling, K
,
1
, Mavromati, F.
2
, F., Duven, E
.
1
, Karakitsou, Ch.
3
, Macarie,
G.
4
, Veldhuis, L.
5
, Wojcik, S.
6
, Halapi, E.
7
,
Sigursteinsdottir, H.
7
, Oliaga, A
8
.,
Tsitsika
,
A.
2

The EU NET
ADB

project


Studying Internet Addictive
Behaviours

in
Adolescence.


A mixed
-
methods project: quantitative and
qualitative protocols


F
unded
under the Safer Internet
Programme

(SI
-
2011
--
KEP
-
4101007).


Data collected in seven
European
countries

2

Landeszentrale für Medien und
Kommunikation

Rheinland
-
Pfalz

University of
Mainz

Germany

The consortium

3

University of
Akureyi

Iceland

Protegeles

Spain

Adolescent
Health

Unit

University of
Athens

Greece

University of

Medicine and
Pharmacy
lasi

Romania

Nobody’s

Children

Foundation

Poland

IVO
Addiction

Research

Institute

Netherlands

Consortium &


Role of each partner

Partner

name

Country

Role

in

project


Adolescent
Health
Unit
(
AHU
)

Greece

Data

collection

Open,

axial

and

selective

coding

PROTEGELES


Spain

Data

collection

and

open

coding*


NCF


Poland

Data

collection

and

open

coding*

UMC
-
Mainz

Germany

Data

collection

Open
*,

axial

and

selective

coding

UMF


Romania

Data

collection

and

open

coding*


IVO


The

Netherlands

Data

collection

and

open

coding*


UNAK

Iceland

Data

collection

and

open

coding*


Consortium
-
wide

7

countries



4

Outline


The EU NET
ADB

project


Consortium and contributions


R
esearch question and Methodology


Results


Implications

5

R
esearch question &

Methodology employed


How does internet addictive behavior develop in
adolescence ?


Grounded Theory (GT)


Step wise


full version




(Strauss & Corbin, 1990; 1998)


Why GT?


Ideal for new “new” constructs


Process question


6

Method:

recruiting and interviewing


Recruiting and selection

Purposive sampling of adolescents

showing “signs
of
internet
addictive
behaviours




(
Internet
Addiction Test (Young, 1996);
IAT

> 30
points)


Data collection

>Interviewing

124
Anonymous
i
n
-
depth interviews

with adolescents 14
-
17 years

7

Method: databank

Partner

name

Country

Role

in

project


Interviews
conducted

and
analyzed



Adolescent
Health
Unit
(
AHU
)

Greece

Data

collection

Open,

axial

and

selective

coding

20

PROTEGELES


Spain

Data

collection

and

open

coding*


20

NCF


Poland

Data

collection

and

open

coding*

20

UMC
-
Mainz

Germany

Data

collection


Open*,

axial

and

selective

coding

20

UMF


Romania

Data

collection

and

open

coding*


16

IVO


The

Netherlands

Data

collection

and

open

coding*


16

UNAK

Iceland

Data

collection

and

open

coding*


12

Consortium
-
wide

7

countries



124

interviews

8

Method: The interview (IS)


semi
-
structured IS comprised of 5 parts



Use of open
-
ended questions and additional prompts to
allow and facilitate participants’ narration



Examples:



1. Now please remember the last day you did not use the
internet AT ALL. Can you tell me about that day?


Prompt
(if needed). How did this day affect your feelings,
thoughts or behavior, if it did?






Method:

from Interviews to transcripts

10

Method:

From transcripts
-
> codes
-
> concepts
-
> categories

Concepts

Properties

Dimensions

Open Category

Exemplar quote

Coded
concepts
line
-
by
-
line

NL01L18
-
23: When I was little we had one of those modem things
and that went
*makes dial
-
up noise*, something like that and that
was super slow. Then we had
behavioural

goals here at home, like
that I wasn’t allowed to throw cushions if I was angry, and with
that I could earn “Internet
-
minutes” and that’s how it started
actually. At
school, we could be on the computer for an hour every
Friday
. Yeah, that is how it started, and in the beginning it was
games or spele.nl.



>
technological
constrains


>
behavioural

goals
-
parental
mediation


-
>“
how it started”

-
> school access

-
> online games

Assistance provided

Learning style

Self
-
learning to fully assisted

Initiation Online

Social mediation provided

Well remembered vs.

Too young to remember

Recollection
degree

Vague to well
-
remembered

First impression

Discovery level

Subtle to overt

Use limited in time and
applications

Parental restrictions and rules

Restrictions
imposed

Subtle to overt restrictions

School access

Educational access

Games (offline or online)

Child as
consumer of
content

Subtle to intense consumption
of content

Technological
Difficulties

Early difficulties

Subtle to overt

11

l

12

Method:

Stepwise Data
Collection and Analysis

to
Achieve Saturation of Categories

Data Collection

Data Analysis

Close to Saturated

Categories

Third

Interview

Second

Interview

First

Interview

More Refined

Categories

Refined

Categories

Preliminary

Categories

Toward

Saturation of

Categories

Results:

The quantitative side of qualitative data




60.000 Lines of transcript


1.500 locally generated concepts of meaning


Recoded and merged
-
> in to 440 concepts


78 open categories of meaning


Six axial categories of meaning


13

Six axial categories

(emerged themes)



Growing into a Content Creator



Adolescent Thirst



Always online and Checking
out



Easing
Adolescence to Empowering Self



Juggling A Changing Reality



Digital Outcomes


14

The building blocks of our
theory

l

15

Results:

From Categories
to the
Coding
Paradigm

Axial Categories

Coding
Paradigm

Context

Causal

Conditions

Phenomenon

Strategies

Consequences

Intervening

Conditions


Growing into a
Content Creator


Adolescent
Thirst


Always
online and
Checking out


Easing
Adolescence
to Empowering Self


Juggling
A Changing
Reality


Digital
Outcomes


Looking for interrelations

Building a scheme

[Internet as a Mode]

Always
0nline

and

Checking
Out


Adolescent

Thirst

for

Connection

and Information


[Internet as a Developmental Context]

Growing into a Content Creator

From Easing Adolescence to

Empowering
Self

Juggling

a Changing
Reality

Maladaptive
strategies

Adaptive strategies







Digital

Outcomes

Self

(schema)


Maladapti
ve


Adaptive




Context

Strategies

Intervening

Phenomenon

Causal

Consequences

Central theme

17

Digital Pathways

Developmental Pathways

18



Growing
Into
a


Content
Creator

“Discovered

fFcebook

-

Turning

into

Content

Creators


I
started with Messenger

and… that kind of… messaging
and
all,
thanks to my cousin,
little by little
,
more and
more, then
Tuenti
,
sharing information
, photographs and
all, several accounts and now [..], I am
always fully
connected.
[SP13, G
-

L54
-

L59]


I
am often the first one, I was the first to use social media,

my friends
discovered Facebook and thought it was
amazing and so I had to have it
.


[NL13L237
-
239]

Social

Practices

Changing
-

Befriending

First

Online

It’s

occurred

to

me

that

it’s

weird

that

I

am

from

a

generation

that

first

gets

to

know

each

other

and

then

meets

each

other

in

person
.

You

see

that

happening

ever

more

on

Twitter

and

such

things
.

People

that

meet

each

other

online

and

then

in

real

life,

that’s

never

happen

in

the

past
.


[NL
04
,

G

-
L
16
-
18
]


First steps

Digital Pathways

19

Adolescent
Thirst


Information

C
onnection

Self
-
searching








Innate curiosity”

[
I am]
curious

because I am interested in what is happening in the world and about
what my friends are doing, that’s why I use social media.






[NL05L104
-
106]


“Quenching thirst”

The Internet
is designed to make you communicate, to be in line with all the
information, technology, everything related to the field in science, everything that
interests you, sometimes even to
your
self
-
discovery
. [R20L385
-
387]



Crystalize self”

Well
, greatly, because social networks are a,

they
crystallize how

you are and how
you can be very confronting because of
that
,
and therefore
you can learn to be the
person you want to be or try to be
. And the internet gives a lot of information about
how other can possibly see
you.


NL04L334
-
336]


20

Always online and Checking out

“Always

Online”

I

am

always

active
,

I

always

carry

my

mobile

phone

with

me

I

have

the

Internet

on

all

the

time
,

Twitter

and

all

that


I

tweet

and

I

am

always

active

there,

always

in

constant

communication

with

other

people


[
SP

,boy,

L
234
]

“Checking

Out”
-

“Avoid

Missing

Out”

Yes
,

I

would

like

to

use

it

less,

but

the

thing

is

that

I

get

invitations

to

events

to

meet

up,

and

that’s

why

I

keep

an

eye

on

it,

to

see

if

there’s

anything

new
.


[SP
17
/

L
111
-

L
112
:
]


I

always

use

[the

Internet],

always

check

new

developments








21

From Easing
Adolescence to Empowering Self

“Cutting

Corners”

PL
03
L
111
-
116
:

I

mean,

I

don’t

post

stuff

myself

but

I

use

what

other

people

have

put

on

the

Internet
.

If

there’s

some

assignment

that

I

can’t

manage,

I

just

write

it

down

and

then

try

to

understand

it

later
.

I

generally

try

to

Google

stuff

but

sometimes

people

put

up

stuff

they

did

on

Facebook
.

“Gaining

courage”

GR
10
L
230
-
232
:

You

make

more

friends

and

you

get

a

sense

of

belonging
.

You

gain

courage

and

you

make

friends

[pause]
.

You

become

more

social

and

you

are

not

closed

up

inside
.


Intervening

conditions

22

Juggling A Changing Reality





“Prioritizing”

the

last

couple

of

weeks

that

we

had

exams

at

school

I

haven’t

been

using

it

that

much

because

I

wanted

to

study
.

GR
2
L
49
-
50
]


“Bypassing

Parental

control”


My

parents

had

a

password

on

the

computer

and

I

could

not

use

it
.

Then
...

well
...

when

the

holidays

were

close,

every

time

that

my

mother

left

the

password

set

and,

for

example,

went

to

bathe

my

sister,

I

then

took

advantage

of

the

situation,

changed

the

password

and

then,

I

was

able

to

use

the

computer

the

following

day
.

SP
06
/

L

21
-

L
25
]

characterized by

Online Craving
and
Offline Engagement

O
ffline

engagement




Online

craving


Low

Offline
engagement

High
Offline
engagement

Low online
craving

Killing

Boredom

Coming Full
Cycle

[
or

Considering
Change]

High online
craving



Stuck Online:

“Addicted to
…...”



Juggling it All





23


Digital Outcomes



Exploring connections between

Strategies and Digital Outcomes

Properties of
Axial 5

Outcome of Axial 5
-

strategies employed

Dimension of properties
associated with each
strategy

Interrelated
Dimensions of Axial 6

Properties

(Craving and Offline
Engagement)

associated
consequence
Axial 6 (online
position)

Degree of
self
-
regulation



Attitude to
change





Adaptive
Strategies

Self
-
monitoring and limiting of
use

-
>moderate…high self
-
regulation

> Readiness for change




High Craving


High
Offline
Engagement






Low Craving




Juggling it All





Considering/u
nderway
Change



Coming Full
Circle

Prioritizing



-
>moderate…high self
-
regulation

-
>readiness for change

Exploring/considering new off
-
line alternatives

>moderate…high self
-
regulation

-
>readiness for change

Legitimizing imposed
restrictions

>low self
-
regulation

-
> readiness for change

Maladaptive
Strategies

Procrastinating



> moderate resistance for change

>
low self
-
regulation







High craving

Low Offline
Engagement










Stuck Online:

“ I am
addicted”



Bypassing imposed restraints of
use

> resistance for change

> low self
-
regulation



Legitimizing use

> resistance for change

> low self
-
regulation

Normalizing and downward
comparison

> resistance for change

> low self
-
regulation

24

25

Digital Outcomes


Stuck Online





“Neglecting offline“
-

Low offline engagement”


Well
I used to go out more. Being outside, going swimming, or stuff
like that. I haven't being swimming for about 2 years.
I haven't been
out with my friend in the evening for over 4 month now, such
things you neglect
.




[D1L576
-
578]



26

Digital Outcomes


Considering change





“Treasuring
Fb
: A book with everything me”

GR16F
L130
-
140: At times, I have thought about giving
it up [Facebook account], but then I consider that it’s
now a part of my life,
it’s like I’m having a book in
which there is everything about me

and that scares
me sometimes. I am thinking that if I throw it away,
everything I have ever done will be lost
.


“What am I doing now?”


I
started visiting social networks like Facebook, saying “ah, here there are
many people, I meet new people, that’s nice”, staying [online] for more and
more time, [..] I making comments, uploading stuff and
creating a new life In
there
, like a virtual reality. Um…I think that happened. after a while though [..]
then,
you come full cycle,

you start saying «
what am I doing now?”, you get
tired of It, you shut It down, you go out and you start cutting down on the time
you spend on I
t, you start doing other things you enjoy more and forget about
It, get It out of your mind and, just
like that; it comes full
cycle.




Two routes
leading to this digital outcome




Self
-
Correction





Saturation

27


Digital Outcomes



Coming Full Cycle



What is this story about?


What is the main “concern”?


Identifying the
core
category

28

Navigating

Adolescent Pathways


the
dynamic
interplay

between digital and
developmental
pathways

29


For me it’s normal and if I’m on my
computer for a bit longer then that’s also
normal for me.. Yeah,
its so in your rhythm

And I don’t think you should see it as an
addiction because it’s something
extremely useful
.

[
NL01L109
-
110]

[Internet as a Mode]

Always
0nline

and

Checking
Out


Adolescent

Thirst

for

Connection

and Information


[Internet as a Developmental Context]

Growing into a Content Creator

From Easing Adolescence to

Empowering
Self

Juggling

a Changing
Reality

Maladaptive
strategies

Adaptive strategies







Digital

Outcomes

Self

(schema)


Maladapti
ve


Adaptive




Context

Strategies

Intervening

Phenomenon

Causal

Consequences

Questions?

Thank you!




Adolescent Health Unit

(
A.H.U
.),


2
nd

Dept. of Pediatrics
-

University of Athens

P. & A.
Kyriakou

Children’s Hospital

24,
Mesogeion

Avenue, Athens 115 27, Greece

Tel + 30 210 771 0824


+ 30 213 200 9806



eu.netadb@med.uoa.gr



http://
www.eunetadb.eu


31