Internet Addiction Test research through a cross-cultural perspective: Spain, USA and Colombia

Tayana Panova, Xavier Carbonell, Andres Chamarro, Diana Ximena Puerta-Cortés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Internet users worldwide often experience problems related to their Internet use, and although culture has an important influence over how people communicate, what they value, and therefore how they use the Internet, little cross-cultural research on the subject of problematic Internet use has been carried out. The Internet Addiction Test (IAT), the most common measurement tool for this purpose, has been used in various countries. In this study we compared and analyzed the cross-cultural results found in the most recent research on the IAT factor analysis. We found that in countries with two or more studies, results are often replicated, suggesting that cultural context influences Internet behaviors. We conducted our own IAT factor analysis studies in three countries - Spain, USA, and Colombia - with a total of 1,273 participants. We compared our results with those from previous studies in the same countries and found similar results. The most notable finding was that all the IAT factor analyses, both ours and the previous ones in the same regions, contained a factor related to loss of control/time management problems and another factor related to emotional/psychological problems, thereby suggesting that impulse control problems and unfulfilled emotional needs are the most important components in the development of problematic Internet use in various countries around the world. Future research on problematic Internet use should focus on these aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Issue number0
StateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jul 2020


  • Internet addiction
  • Problematic Internet use
  • Cross-cultural
  • Internet Addiction
  • Test Factor analysis

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