MySpace use as a potentially dysfunctional Internet behavior

Linda Maria Anderson, University of Texas at El Paso


As Internet use has increased, the use of social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook has become widespread. This study examined the prevalence of dysfunctional Internet-related behaviors in a sample of 302 undergraduates with MySpace accounts. Dysfunctional Internet behaviors were assessed by a Dysfunctional Internet Use Scale (DIUS) developed by Morahan-Martin and Schumacher (2000), and dysfunctional Internet behaviors specifically related to MySpace were assessed by a separate instrument modeled on the DIUS, the Dysfunctional MySpace Use Scale (DMUS). According to criteria suggested by Morahan-Martin and Schumacher, the prevalence of dysfunctional Internet use in the present sample was 39.7%, and the prevalence of dysfunctional MySpace use was 34.1%. These numbers were substantially higher than would be expected based on prior studies (Morahan-Martin & Schumacher, 2000; Niemz, Griffiths, & Banyard, 2005) suggesting that dysfunctional Internet may have increased during the past ten years. Dysfunctional Internet behaviors exhibited slight but significant correlations with introversion and neuroticism (all r’s < .20). Factor analyses of the DIUS, DMUS, and other measures of internet use, revealed the presence of five dimensions of Internet behavior, including four pathological dimensions (Negative Feelings About MySpace Use, Compulsion to Use MySpace, Criticism Regarding MySpace Use, and Interference with Occupational or Academic Performance) and one non-pathological dimension (Social Use of MySpace).

Subject Area

Clinical psychology|Mass communications

Recommended Citation

Anderson, Linda Maria, "MySpace use as a potentially dysfunctional Internet behavior" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1461136.