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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2007 Apr;10(2):234-42.

Relations among loneliness, social anxiety, and problematic Internet use.

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  • 1Department of Communication, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA.


The model of problematic Internet use advanced and tested in the current study proposes that individuals' psychosocial well-being, along with their beliefs about interpersonal communication (both face-to-face and online) are important cognitive predictors of negative outcomes arising from Internet use. The study examined the extent to which social anxiety explains results previously attributed to loneliness as a predictor of preference for online social interaction and problematic Internet use. The results support the hypothesis that the relationship between loneliness and preference for online social interaction is spurious, and that social anxiety is the confounding variable.

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