This exploratory study aimed to develop and test a quick, easily administered instrument, the Index of Problematic Online Experiences (I-POE). The goal of the I-POE extends beyond assessing for Internet overuse to broadly assess problematic Internet use across several domains and activities. Data was collected from 563 college students from a Northern New England university using an online survey methodology. Results indicated the I-POE has adequate construct validity and is highly correlated with a variety of relevant constructs: depression, anger=irritability, tension-reduction behavior, sexual concerns, and dysfunctional sexual behavior as measured by the Trauma Symptom Inventory; as well as amount of Internet use and permissive attitudes toward engaging in a variety of sexual activities. Early flagging of online experiences could mitigate the negative effects associated with problematic use. The I-POE, as an easy-to-administer, short screening index, holds promise in this regard. Initial testing of the instrument points to its utility in identifying persons who are experiencing a broad range of Internet-related problems.



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Cyberpsychology and Behavior


Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

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The final published version is available from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers at http://dx.doi.org/[10.1089/cpb.2008.0317]