Daily and Compulsive Internet Use and Well-Being in Adolescence: A Diathesis-Stress Model Based on Big Five Personality Traits

  • Niels van der Aa
  • Geertjan Overbeek
  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels
  • Ron H. J. Scholte
  • Gert-Jan Meerkerk
  • Regina J. J. M. Van den Eijnden
Empirical Research


This study examined the associations between adolescents’ daily Internet use and low well-being (i.e., loneliness, low self-esteem, and depressive moods). We hypothesized that (a) linkages between high levels of daily Internet use and low well-being would be mediated by compulsive Internet use (CIU), and (b) that adolescents with low levels of agreeableness and emotional stability, and high levels of introversion would be more likely to develop CIU and lower well-being. Data were used from a sample of 7888 Dutch adolescents (11–21 years). Results from structural equation modeling analyses showed that daily Internet use was indirectly related to low well-being through CIU. In addition, daily Internet use was found to be more strongly related to CIU in introverted, low-agreeable, and emotionally less-stable adolescents. In turn, again, CIU was more strongly linked to loneliness in introverted, emotionally less-stable, and less agreeable adolescents.


Internet use Personality Adolescence Well-being 



Geertjan Overbeek was supported by veni-grant (# 451-05-015) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research during the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels van der Aa
    • 1
  • Geertjan Overbeek
    • 2
  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels
    • 2
  • Ron H. J. Scholte
    • 2
  • Gert-Jan Meerkerk
    • 3
  • Regina J. J. M. Van den Eijnden
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biological PsychologyVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Behavioral Science Institute (BSI)Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Addiction Research InstituteRotterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of General Social SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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