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Specijalna edukacija i rehabilitacija
2011, vol. 10, iss. 4, pp. 615-631
article language: Serbian
document type: Review Paper
published on: 21/02/2012
Concept and characteristics of internet addiction
University of Belgrade, Faculty for Special Education and Rehabilitation



The concept of internet addiction was initially introduced in the middle of 90s of the 20th century by an American author Kimberly Young. However, the recognition of the behavior which we today know as internet addiction phenomenon, with the emergence of the author's several different perspectives on mechanisms of its occurrence and preservation, begun a few decades earlier. The appearance of internet addiction was being explained by means of different concepts, like obsessive-compulsive disorder, problematic, pathological internet use, and the like. Scientific and expert community still have opposing views with regard to the recognition of the concept of internet addiction and its differentiation from the other closely related phenomena, like internet abuse, internet overuse, etc. The aim of this paper is to review contemporary terminological, conceptual and diagnostic contradictions that accompany the studying of the internet addiction phenomenon on the basis of the review and analysis of the available literature. One of the most popular typologies of the internet addiction created by the author Kimberly Young, which was adapted for this occasion, will be particularly presented bearing in mind later observations and empirical data of other researchers. Specific types of internet addiction have been distinguished - cyber sexual addiction; social networking addiction; online gambling, shopping and gaming; information overload and ICT addiction (computers and mobile phones). Finally, the data on the internet addiction prevalence and characteristics will be presented on the basis of the results of the relevant researches in our midst and worldwide.



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