An Emerging Global Concern of Internet Addiction: Sociocultural Influences on Immigrant Families

By Seok Won Jin and Jerica Berge.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 23, 2015 $US5.00

Internet addiction is an emerging, though unexplored, global concern across countries and cultures. Little is known about sociocultural constructs of Internet addiction, especially in immigrant families living in a different culture. This study examines the association between Internet addiction, acculturative stress, and marital intimacy among immigrant married couples. Forty Asian heterosexual couples aged 18 to 54 from metropolitan areas in Midwestern United States completed questionnaires via email. Multilevel models were fitted to estimate the effects of Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, a statistical methodology designed to analyze dyadic data. The results suggested that the partner’s levels of acculturative stress (p=.0036) significantly affected partner-rated Internet addiction scores. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that the partner’s levels of marital intimacy (Overall marital intimacy, p=.0063; Consensus, p=.0004; Openness, p=.0136; Affection, p=.0282; Commitment, p=.0020) significantly predicted partner-rated Internet addiction scores. Finally, the result indicated that marital intimacy decreased the estimate regression coefficient of the acculturative stress to self-rated IAT scores by 16.3 percent. The findings suggest the importance of interventions in decreasing Internet addiction by enhancing immigrant couples’ marital quality in a family structure, considering gender differences in their effects.

Keywords: Internet Addiction, Marital Intimacy, Acculturative Stress

The Global Studies Journal, Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.15-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 23, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 690.187KB)).

Dr. Seok Won Jin

Assistant Professor, Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Dr. Jerica Berge

Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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