Investigation of Factors Influencing Problematic Internet Use, and Development of the Application “hEp” to Regulate University Students’ Problematic Internet Use

Caner Yıldırım, Sonay
This study has two sub-purposes that related to problematic Internet use (PIU). The first purpose is to comprehensively describe undergraduates’ Internet use behaviors in terms of use patterns and problematic behaviors, as well as to investigate the effects of self-regulation, procrastination, and academic achievement on problematic Internet use behavior. The second purpose is to develop an effective Internet use program (hEp) within self-regulation context, evaluate its usability, and present its design characteristics. In the first stage, cross-sectional data were gathered from 479 undergraduates (291 females, 188 males). Survey and correlational research were utilized. PIU has negative relationship with undergraduates’ academic Internet usage time, and positive relationships with their social and recreational Internet usage time. In addition, PIU factors are predicted by self-regulation, academic procrastination variables, but not by GPA. In the second stage, design- based research was used to develop a self-regulating effective Internet usage application (hEp), for increasing academic performance by regulating PIU behaviors, which's deficiency were emphasized in previous studies, and to determine usability, perceived effectiveness and design features. This stage consisted of 6 steps, 2 pilot studies, 3 consecutive cycles and the final design. In main cycles, at least 4 participants were involved in each cycle and a total of 16 unique participants were involved in the study. Participants created at least 3 hEps in the cycle/s. Semi- structured interviews conducted. Findings regarding the usability, perceived effectiveness, and design principles of hEp were presented and discussed in line with the literature. Suggestions provided for future studies.


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Citation Formats
S. Caner Yıldırım, “Investigation of Factors Influencing Problematic Internet Use, and Development of the Application “hEp” to Regulate University Students’ Problematic Internet Use,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.