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Relationship Pattern between Internet Addiction, Attachment Styles and Self-Differentiation in University Students: A Structural Equation Modelling

Internet addiction attracts the attention of researchers and experts working in the field as a serious type of behavioural addiction. The fact that internet addiction affects a wide area such as work, school, family and social life of the individual makes it important to investigate the phenomenon. In this context, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between internet addiction and attachment styles and self-differentiation. In the study, correlational survey model was used. Based on the literature, the proposed model was tested with Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The study was conducted on 386 university students aged between 18 and 39 years. Data were collected by using Internet Addiction Scale, Differentiation of Self Inventory and Attachment Styles Scale. According to the results of the study, avoidant attachment positively predicts internet addiction and self-differentiation; while secure attachment predicts internet addiction negatively and self-differentiation positively. Anxious ambivalent attachment predicts self-differentiation negatively. Differentiation of the self predicts internet addiction negatively. Attachment styles explain 20% of the variance related to self-differentiation, while attachment styles and self- differentiation together explain 23% of the variance related to internet addiction. According to the results of the study, the model of the relationship pattern between attachment styles and internet addiction and self-differentiation was confirmed. When working with internet addicts, experts in the field may also consider the effects of individualization and attachment styles. Researchers can test the results obtained from this study by researching in other samples.


internet addiction, individualisation, attachment styles


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