“Internet Addiction”: A conceptual minefield

Francesca Ryding, Linda Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


With Internet connectivity and technological advancement increasing dramatically in recent years, “Internet addiction” (IA) is emerging as a global concern. However, the use of the term ‘addiction’ has been considered controversial, with debate surfacing as to whether IA merits classification as a psychiatric disorder as its own entity, or whether IA occurs in relation to specific online activities through manifestation of other underlying disorders. Additionally, the changing landscape of Internet mobility and the contextual variations Internet access can hold, has further implications towards its conceptualisation and measurement. Without official recognition and agreement on the concept of IA, this can lead to difficulties in efficacy of diagnosis and treatment. This paper therefore provides a critical commentary on the numerous issues of the concept of “Internet addiction”, with implications for the efficacy of its measurement and diagnosticity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number1
Early online date19 Sept 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Sept 2017


  • Internet Addiction
  • gratifications
  • contexts
  • platforms
  • IGD


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