The Relationship between Basic Psychological Needs and Internet Addiction with the Moderating Role of Problem-oriented Coping Style

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Psychology and Education, Faculty of Humanities, Yasouj University, Yasouj, Iran.

2 Department of Psychology and Education, Faculty of Humanities, Yasouj University, Yasouj, Iran

3 Department of Medicine, Yasouj University of Medical Sciences, Yasouj University, Yasouj, Iran



Introduction: Failure to satisfy the basic psychological needs may cause Internet addiction for the adolescents. Heterogeneity of outcomes may originate from individual characteristics such as coping style. Therefore, the present study aimed to look at whether the problem-oriented coping style can play a moderating role in the relationship between basic psychological needs and Internet addiction.
Method: This research was a descriptive-correlational study. For this purpose, 361 students were selected from Yasouj University by cluster random sampling. Three questionnaires were used to collect data: Basic Psychological Needs Questionnaire, Internet Addiction Questionnaire, and Stress Coping Strategies Questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and the Partial Least Squares (PLS) were used to process the data.
Results: According to the findings of the present study, there was a negative relationship between satisfying the basic psychological needs and Internet addiction. The results also showed problem-oriented coping style as a moderating and influential variable between the basic psychological needs and Internet addiction.
Conclusion: Overall, the most important contribution of this study is to explain a correlation and moderation model that is consistent with both stress management and self-determination theory. As a result, interventions based on self-determination theory (e.g., informing programs that enhance adolescent autonomy, relatedness, and competence) may be effective in reducing Internet addiction.


  1. Spada, M.M., An overview of problematic Internet use. Addictive behaviors, 2014. 39(1): p. 3-6.
  2. Cheng, C. and A.Y.-l. Li, Internet addiction prevalence and quality of (real) life: A meta-analysis of 31 nations across seven world regions. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2014. 17(12): p. 755-760.
  3. J Kuss, D., et al., Internet addiction: A systematic review of epidemiological research for the last decade. Current pharmaceutical design, 2014. 20(25): p. 4026-4052.
  4. Shafieetabar, M. and A. Zebardast, Predicting the Students’ Internet Addiction Based on the Behavioral Activation/Inhibition Systems and Social Anxiety. International Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 2018. 12(1): p. 32-36.
  5. Carli, V., et al., The association between pathological internet use and comorbid psychopathology: a systematic review. Psychopathology, 2013. 46(1): p. 1-13.
  6. Ko, C.-H., et al., The association between Internet addiction and psychiatric disorder: a review of the literature. European Psychiatry, 2012. 27(1): p. 1-8.
  7. Fuladvand, K., The Role of Psychological Disorders’ Symptoms and Emotion Regulation Strategies in Predicting Internet Addiction among Students of Lorestan University of Medical Sciences. International Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 2021. 14(4): p. 232-238.
  8. Jorgenson, A.G., R.C.-J. Hsiao, and C.-F. Yen, Internet addiction and other behavioral addictions. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics, 2016. 25(3): p. 509-520.
  9. Li, D., et al., Stressful life events and adolescent Internet addiction: The mediating role of psychological needs satisfaction and the moderating role of coping style. Computers in Human Behavior, 2016. 63: p. 408-415.
  10. Deci, E.L., et al., On the benefits of giving as well as receiving autonomy support: Mutuality in close friendships. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 2006. 32(3): p. 313-327.
  11. Ryan, R.M. and E.L. Deci, Overview of self-determination theory: An organismic dialectical perspective. Handbook of self-determination research, 2002. 2: p. 3-33.
  12. Baumeister, R.F. and M.R. Leary, The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological bulletin, 1995. 117(3): p. 497.
  13. Deci, E.L. and R.M. Ryan, The" what" and" why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological inquiry, 2000. 11(4): p. 227-268.
  14. Sheldon, K.M., N. Abad, and C. Hinsch, A two-process view of Facebook use and relatedness need-satisfaction: Disconnection drives use, and connection rewards it. J Pers Soc Psychol., 2011. 100(4): p. 766-75.
  15. Sheldon, K.M. and A. Gunz, Psychological needs as basic motives, not just experiential requirements. Journal of personality, 2009. 77(5): p. 1467-1492.
  16. Kardefelt-Winther, D., A conceptual and methodological critique of internet addiction research: Towards a model of compensatory internet use. Computers in human behavior, 2014. 31: p. 351-354.
  17. Allen, J.J. and C.A. Anderson, Satisfaction and frustration of basic psychological needs in the real world and in video games predict internet gaming disorder scores and well-being. Computers in Human Behavior, 2018. 84: p. 220-229.
  18. Brzezinski, S., Integrating Self-Determination Theory and the Diathesis-Stress-Model: Basic psychological needs as a transdiagnostic factor in the development of psychological disorders. Unpublished preprint, 2019. 52: p. 68-75.
  19. Fathi, A. and V.M. Alivandi, The study of the role of fundamental psychological needs in the tendency towards addiction and social security feeling in Ahar students. SOCIETAL SECURITY STUDIES, 2019. 10(58): p. 127-156.
  20. Can, S. and Ş.G. Zeren, The Role of Internet Addiction and Basic Psychological Needs in Explaining the Academic Procrastination Behavior of Adolescents. Cukurova University Faculty of Education Journal, 2019. 48(2): p. 120-131.
  21. Nishimura, T. and T. Suzuki, Basic psychological need satisfaction and frustration in J apan: controlling for the big five personality traits. Japanese Psychological Research, 2016. 58(4): p. 320-331.
  22. Sun, J., Q. Liu, and S. Yu, Child neglect, psychological abuse and smartphone addiction among Chinese adolescents: The roles of emotional intelligence and coping style. Computers in Human Behavior, 2019. 90: p. 74-83.
  23. Whang, L.S.-M., S. Lee, and G. Chang, Internet over-users' psychological profiles: a behavior sampling analysis on internet addiction. Cyberpsychology & behavior, 2003. 6(2): p. 143-150.
  24. Lazarus, R.S. and S. Folkman, Stress, appraisal, and coping. 1984: Springer publishing company.
  25. Zheng, Y., et al., Life events, coping, and posttraumatic stress symptoms among Chinese adolescents exposed to 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, China. PloS one, 2012. 7(1): p. e29404.
  26. Lei, H., et al., The relationship between coping style and Internet addiction among mainland Chinese students: A meta-analysis. Psychiatry research, 2018. 270: p. 831-841.
  27. Servidio, R., A. Gentile, and S. Boca, The mediational role of coping strategies in the relationship between self-esteem and risk of Internet addiction. Europe's journal of psychology, 2018. 14(1): p. 176.
  28. Zhou, Y., et al., Big five personality and adolescent Internet addiction: The mediating role of coping style. Addictive behaviors, 2017. 64: p. 42-48.
  29. McNicol, M.L. and E.B. Thorsteinsson, Internet addiction, psychological distress, and coping responses among adolescents and adults. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2017. 20(5): p. 296-304.
  30. Brand, M., C. Laier, and K.S. Young, Internet addiction: coping styles, expectancies, and treatment implications. Frontiers in psychology, 2014. 5: p. 1256.
  31. Zhou, L., Relationships between Internet addiction, coping style and life events among teenagers. Chinese Journal of Public Health, 2009. 25: p. 1372-1373.
  32. Chen, P.-z., S.-w. Liu, and L.-j. Luo, A study on the psychological health of internet addiction disorder of college students. chinese Journal of clinical psychology, 2007. 15(1): p. 40.
  33. Yang, S.C. and C.-J. Tung, Comparison of Internet addicts and non-addicts in Taiwanese high school. Computers in human behavior, 2007. 23(1): p. 79-96.
  34. Khosroshahi, J.B. and T.H. Nosrat Abad, The relationships of attachment styles, coping strategies, and mental health to Internet addiction. Developmental Psychology: Journal of Iranian Psychologists, 2012. 8(30): p. 177-188.
  35. Leiner, M., et al., Is there a need to modify existing coping scales to include using electronic media for coping in young people? Frontiers in pediatrics, 2014. 2: p. 127.
  36. Wood, R.T. and M.D. Griffiths, A qualitative investigation of problem gambling as an escape‐based coping strategy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: theory, research and practice, 2007. 80(1): p. 107-125.
  37. Sadati Firoozabadi, S. and G. Moltafet, The mediating role of satisfying basic psychological needs on the relationship between parenting styles and mental health in gifted students. Iranian Journal of Health Education and Health Promotion, 2017. 5(3): p. 203-212.
  38. Ghorbani, N. and P. Watson, Validity of Experiential and Reflective Self-knowledge Scales: relationships with basic need satisfaction among Iranian factory workers. Psychological Reports, 2006. 98(3): p. 727-733.
  39. Bahri, N., et al., Internet addiction status and its relation with students’ general health at Gonabad Medical University. Modern Care Journal, 2011. 8(3).
  40. Endler, N.S. and J.D. Parker, Multidimensional assessment of coping: A critical evaluation. Journal of personality and social psychology, 1990. 58(5): p. 844.
  41. Sepehrian Azar, F., The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Stress Coping Methods and General Intelligence with Academic Achievement of Pre-University Students. Clinical Psychology and Personality, 2014. 9(2): p. 23-32.
  42. Chen, K.-C. and S.-J. Jang, Motivation in online learning: Testing a model of self-determination theory. Computers in Human Behavior, 2010. 26(4): p. 741-752.
  43. Ryan, R.M., C.S. Rigby, and A. Przybylski, The motivational pull of video games: A self-determination theory approach. Motivation and emotion, 2006. 30(4): p. 344-360.
  44. Shapira, N.A., et al., Problematic internet use: proposed classification and diagnostic criteria. Depression and anxiety, 2003. 17(4): p. 207-216.
  45. Nadkarni, A. and S.G. Hofmann, Why do people use Facebook? Personality and individual differences, 2012. 52(3): p. 243-249.