Unpacking the mechanisms underlying the relation between ostracism and internet addiction

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Prior studies have mainly focused on the psychological correlates of Internet addiction, but scant research has tested how actual interpersonal experience can influence people's tendency to spend an excessive amount of time online. The present research aimed to fill the research gap by investigating the potential relation between ostracism and internet usage as well as the mechanisms underlying such a linkage. Participants completed a series of well-validated measures assessing their ostracism experience in school, solitude seeking, self-control, and Internet addiction. The results established a significant positive association between ostracism and Internet addiction and demonstrated this relation was mediated by enhanced solitude seeking and impaired self-control. These findings advanced our current knowledge by showing that adverse interpersonal experiences in school can predict Internet addiction and by unveiling underlying mechanisms that can account for such relation. They also highlight the importance of everyday interpersonal experiences in understanding people's behaviors in the cyberspace. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-730
JournalPsychiatry Research
Early online dateOct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018



Poon, K.-T. (2018). Unpacking the mechanisms underlying the relation between ostracism and internet addiction. Psychiatry Research, 270, 724-730. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.10.056


  • Ostracism
  • Internet addiction
  • Solitude seeking
  • Self-control