How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Internet Use Behaviors and Facilitated Problematic Internet Use? A Bangladeshi Study

Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic-related “stay-at-home” and confinement orders has led individuals to be more engaged with technology use (eg, internet use). For a minority of individuals, excessive use can become problematic and addictive. However, the investigation of problematic internet use in the COVID-19 context is only just emerging. Therefore, the present study investigated the changes in internet use behaviors and addiction rates in comparison with prior Bangladeshi studies. An online cross-sectional study was carried out among a total of 601 Bangladeshi students between October 7 and November 2, 2020. The survey included questions relating to socio-demographic, behavioral health, online use behaviors, and psychopathological variables.A quarter of the participants (26%) reported having low levels of internet addiction, whereas 58.6% were classed as having moderate internet addiction and 13% severe internet addiction. A total of 4% of the sample were classed as being at risk of severe internet dependency (ie, scoring over ≥80 on IAT). Risk factors for internet addiction included smartphone addiction, Facebook addiction, depression, and anxiety. However, the final hierarchical regression model comprising all variables explained a total of 70.6% variance of problematic internet use.Based on the present findings, it is concluded that individuals are at elevated risk of problematic internet use like other psychological impacts that have been reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, risk-reducing measures and healthy control use strategies should be implemented for vulnerable individuals.
Description
Keywords
COVID-19 and internet addiction, problematic internet use, online use behaviors, smartphone and Facebook addiction, depression, anxiety, Bangladeshi students
Citation
Jahan, I., Hosen, I., Al Mamun, F., Kaggwa, M. M., Griffiths, M. D., & Mamun, M. A. (2021). How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted internet use behaviors and facilitated problematic internet use? A Bangladeshi study. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 14, 1127.https://doi.org/10.2147%2FPRBM.S323570
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