Exploring personality characteristics of Chinese adolescents with internet-related addictive behaviors: trait differences for gaming addiction and social networking addiction

Addict Behav. 2015 Mar;42:32-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.10.039. Epub 2014 Nov 1.


This study investigated the associations between personality traits, based on the Big Five model, and addictive behaviors to different online activities among adolescents. A sample of 920 participants was recruited from four secondary schools in different districts using random cluster sampling. A structured questionnaire, including demographic information, internet usage pattern, the Internet Addiction Test, the Game Addiction Scale, the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale - Revised, and the Big Five Inventory, was administered to each participant. The results demonstrated a significant difference in personality traits for addictive behaviors related to different online activities. Specifically, higher neuroticism (β=0.15, p<0.001) and less conscientiousness (β=0.12, p<0.001) displayed significant associations with internet addiction in general; less conscientiousness (β=0.09, p<0.01) and low openness (β=0.06, p<0.05) were significantly associated with gaming addiction; and neuroticism (β=0.15, p<0.001) and extraversion (β=0.10, p<0.01) were significantly associated with social networking addiction. Our findings may provide a better understanding of the etiopathology of internet-related addictive behaviors and have implications for psychoeducation and psychotherapy programs.

Keywords: Addictive behavior; Adolescents; Gaming addiction; Internet addiction; Personality; Social networking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Extraversion, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuroticism
  • Personality Inventory
  • Personality*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Networking*
  • Video Games / psychology*