Published: 2020-02-27

Factors affecting internet use among university students in Sarawak, Malaysia: an empirical study

M. Mizanur Rahman, M. Taha Arif, Fready Luke, Santha Letchumi, Fatin Nabila, Cindy Wong Zien Ling, Edmund Shin Chin Vui, Nazibah Baharin


Background: The internet has become an indispensable tool for communication, academic research, information and entertainment. However, heavy users of the internet lead to less confidence in social skills and the tendency to be isolated. The study aimed to assess the pattern of internet use and factors affecting problematic internet use among university students.

Methods: This cross-sectional study conducted among the students of a university in Sarawak, Malaysia. A multistage cluster sampling technique was adapted to select the participants. Data were collected from 463 students by self-administered questionnaire. Hierarchical binary logistic regression analysis was done to determine the potential factors for problematic internet use.

Results: The mean age of the students was 22 years, with a standard deviation of 1.6 years. Two-fifths (61.8%) of the students had no problematic internet use. However, 35.4% had moderate and 2.8% had severe problematic internet use. Hierarchical binary logistic regression analysis found that age of the students, year of study, duration of daily internet use and use of social networking like Skype appeared to be potential predictors of problematic internet use (p<0.05).

Conclusions: This study was conducted in only one university, thus did not depict the overall scenarios of the country. The implications of the findings are still worth noting in the process of designing internet addiction studies among university students. Overall, this study has unearthed some useful insights which can serve as a guide to more elaborate studies.


Internet use, Malaysia, Sarawak, University students

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