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Friedrich, R. Wuttke eds. In: Jura , issue 1, pp. Bonn: bpb, pp. Kunert, J. Schweitzer, S. Albrecht eds. In: Fritz, J. Fritz, C. I felt, well, isolated in that relationship because the clique had disbanded.. I started All those kinds of things, like. He describes himself as a lonely, neglected child — both in relation to his family and peers.
His choice of words points more to situational, isolated changes which to a certain extent jump out from the loneliness, and are limited to a certain phase in his life, namely puberty. For Mathias, the ability to form a relationship seems to mean the ability to suffer. Mathias describes a significant turning point towards the positive which is linked to a withdrawal from the social circle.
He now seems to seek happiness in things and in himself. It seems as if he frees himself from the assumption of having to be socially integrated and instead pursues the things that interest him. While the first part of the biographical account was strongly characterised by passive constructions and laboured ways of expressing himself, Mathias suddenly portrays himself in a pro-active role. He formulates his words clearly and he becomes the active subject in his story.
The separation from his girlfriend and the breaking apart of the clique allows Mathias to take charge of his life. But it is evident that, while these are activities which are potentially social — dancing explicitly since one needs a partner to dance — they are not referred to as social activities. A similar situation arises in his description of his later, seven-year-long relationship. Like his first partnership, Mathias experiences it as a burden and as stifling. And that.. This points to a reproduction of his old relationship patterns in his current relationship.
This martyrdom is potentially critical in that it remains purely normatively justified. In his story, it is sometimes questionable to what extent Mathias actually meets his own expectations of himself as a father and whether in terms of his norms — similar to his attitude to work — it is largely the expectation that remains and the gaming gets in the way of their implementation. The function of the games against this backdrop goes beyond the relaxation function which Mathias himself places at the forefront.
It appears more as a means of self-isolation within the relationship. The gaming itself poses no subjective breach of the family norm as far as Mathias is concerned unlike the way it does with the working norm , but rather of the fatherly responsibilities and the exhaustion suffered as a result of fulfilling them. Taking account of the biographical tension, it becomes plausible why Mathias does not use the game as a socialisation instrument and why the social aspect of the game is of no consequence to him.
What stands out is that Mathias in describing his gaming behaviour uses the rhetoric of the expert and in that role does not link his gaming behaviour to his current work situation. In fact, Mathias in his biographical account rarely places his gaming behaviour in any relation to his biography. First, he speaks of his relationships and only when asked does he — separated from the biography told so far — describe his gaming history.
Mathias does not draw a systematic relationship between the two areas. This is consistent in that it would throw the fragile relationship off balance. Thus, it supports the constellation in that moment. At the same time, it prevents any other tackling of the problems. The couple, or the family, are successively separated and the question of a new job is not systematically addressed. The normative perceptions and everyday practice are not brought together, but drift further and further apart.
She is the only child of a working class family. When she is nine, her parents separate and later divorce. Simone moves out of the family home with her mother. Shortly afterwards, her mother commits suicide and Simone goes to live with her father. Her father succumbs more and more to alcohol and forces his daughter into the role of a housewife. The situation is desolate, the father regularly drinks away the housekeeping money, sometimes there is not even enough for food and coal.
The former grammar school pupil has stopped going to school. At the age of 16, Simone finally goes to child welfare services and asks for help. She is placed in sheltered housing and cuts off all contact with her father. She goes back to school and takes up a few hobbies. The boys in her house group introduce her to video games.
She leaves school with her Realschulabschluss lower secondary leaving certificate , even attains her Abitur upper secondary leaving certificate and enters vocational training. Simone then lives in her own apartment and has her first boyfriend. Video games remain part of her everyday life. In she uses her first wages to buy the Playstation2 which has just come onto the market. She is fired from her job. After a brief period of unemployment and a job creation scheme in a nursery school, Simone starts in a new apprenticeship which sees her moving to a nearby town.
She breaks off this apprenticeship after 18 months, moves back to her home town and meets another man. She is unemployed, but receives placements on the odd job creation scheme and one-euro jobs 20 from the job centre. In October of that year, they start to play World of Warcraft WoW , an online multiplayer role playing game. Simone has been unemployed for three years and is financially dependent on her boyfriend.
He lives in a small town in western Germany. They belong to the same guild. They get to know each other through the game, call each other and chat online. In September , Thomas takes the train to visit Simone and pick her up. Simone goes with him, packing just her essentials in a case. They stop playing WoW. At this point of the interview, Simone has been living with Thomas in his one-room apartment, is looking for work and for a small place of her own.
Similar to Mathias, she sets about tackling the challenges presented by the game. Meeting those challenges is, however, not the aim, not the reason for her efforts. Simone meets them primarily in order to make other players notice her and make herself attractive as an opponent. The signs emerging at this point are confirmed in the further analysis: Simone plays in order to gain social recognition. During her two-year gaming period, she spent more than six hours a day in World of Warcraft. Looking back, she assesses her past gaming practice as problematic.
How quickly you.. It would go beyond the scope of this paper to trace this change of view in detail. It fits in the picture that she only pathologises her gaming practices when reflecting on them. On the other hand, while describing what she actually did, she dives back into the gaming world and its power of attraction becomes visible. This is seen in her decision, at 16, to go to the child welfare office, in her school career and in the many fresh starts she attempts in the working world.
At the same time, her early independence gives rise to a closeness-distance problem. Simone finds it difficult to cope with various presence-absence relationships. This applies both to couple relationships and to role-type social relationships as in the work context. In her relationships, she sees herself making more effort than expected and expects at least the same level of effort from the other side.
And she is repeatedly disappointed and does not receive the recognition and esteem she seeks. She has been unemployed for three years and has been living in a relationship in which she is both unhappy and financially dependent. She also has several failed attempts at improving her work biography, unsuccessful personal relationships and numerous new starts in different towns. She has no social resources, neither family nor close friends. When playing, Simone can demonstrate success — unlike in much of her life so far — and she receives attention and recognition from fellow players.
And it is guaranteed. That this involves a decided social dynamic which evolves through the group and is only fostered by the game mechanism, becomes clear when Simone says:. You just had to try and make sure that you.. They have to be tackled in groups of 10 or 25 players, and are only available for that specific week.
The game sets the pace in which the challenges have to be met.
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Players have the option not to meet the challenge, but that means falling behind those who do. Initially, the game simply throws up the challenges and does not obligate players to take them up. Other mechanisms in the background e. For example, bypassing situations where patterns of attachment are activated by excessively spending time on the Internet or replacing negative relationship experiences by rewarding Web-based activity [ 28 ].
Overall, as a social medium and the relationship component contained therein, the Internet—compared with other addictive substances—provides even more possibilities to manage deficient attachment and relationship patterns. For example, online interaction in social networks, chats, and forums can dampen feelings of social isolation of people with an uncertain attachment style.
In particular, the possibility of anonymous communication over the Internet plays a vital role in compensating social isolation via online contacts and relationships [ 29 ]. On the basis of the discussed findings, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between attachment style, motives for use, used services, and Internet addiction. It was hypothesized that, in comparison with securely attached users, significantly more insecurely attached users would display an Internet addiction.
Furthermore, it was assumed that users with an insecure attachment style would differ in their motives for use compared with users with a secure attachment style. It was also hypothesized that users with an Internet addiction would report different motives for use compared with users without an Internet addiction. Finally, it was assumed that users with an insecure attachment style would use Web-based services more often than users with a secure attachment style.
A Web-based survey was carried out. The Web-based questionnaire was distributed both on Facebook and on 15 thematically different forums ranging from parent-, travel-, computer- to craft- and comic platforms to obtain the most heterogeneous sample possible. The survey period lasted for 6 weeks. To rule out methodological artifacts in the first quantitative self-assessment study, a second qualitative study was conducted. In light of the limitations given in any self-evaluation study, the prior aim of this methodological triangulation study was to gain data that for sure could not be influenced by intentional or unintentional bias.
Therapists in Austrian clinics as well as the University Clinic of Mainz were contacted to recruit possible participants for the Rorschach study. Age, gender, relationship status, and the duration of the existing partnership, highest level of education as well as current job situation were assessed. Furthermore, information about duration and frequency of Internet usage was collected. The Bielefelder partnership expectations questionnaire was used to assess the attachment style of participants.
This inventory consists of 31 items that are rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 0 completely disagree to 4 completely agree. The questionnaire evaluates the following five attachment styles: secure , conditionally secure , avoidant-closed , ambivalent-clingy , and ambivalent-closed.
The Bielefeld questionnaire is different from others in two ways: 1 attachment style is operationalized as configurations of scale scores, which allow qualitative distinctions in terms of functioning and 2 five empirically identified attachment styles are distinguished. The online addiction scale is a diagnostic tool consisting of 14 items about Internet addiction that are rated on a 5-point Likert scale with a maximum possible total score of 27 points. In addition, the questionnaire assesses how frequently participants used the following 8 different Web-based services: Web-based games, shopping, chatting in forums, writing emails, Web-based sex services, Web-based gambling, Web-based communities, and information retrieval.
The frequency of use is reported on a 4-point scale ranging from 0 never to 3 very often. Reliability, validity, and utility of the instrument have been confirmed showing a good internal consistency of. An exploratory factor analysis yielded a one-way solution confirming factorial validity [ 31 ]. Survey respondents are prompted to rate how well each of the 27 possible items applied to their motives for Internet usage on a 5-point scale ranging from 0 strongly agree to 4 strongly disagree : anonymity, opportunity to meet new people, simple communication, curiosity, emotional support, social contact, escape from the real-world, finding love or a sexual partner.
A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted yielding a goodness-of-fit index of. On the basis of the factor loadings, acceptable validity could be determined [ 32 ]. The Rorschach Inkblot Test is a performance-based personality test. The test consists of 10 inkblot stimuli: 5 are achromatic and 5 include chromatic colors. Examinees look at each inkblot and say what it looks like or what it might be. Examinees can give one or more responses per inkblot. The Rorschach variables are given a cutoff score that indicates which interpretive paragraph to choose.
To determine the degree to which the results statistically deviate from the norm, the examiner must compare each of the variables with the relevant descriptive statistics that are reported in large normative tables [ 33 ]. Although those established criteria differ based on the evaluation system applied, they generally follow the same basics: acquisition, the experience, and content [ 34 ]. This complex evaluation strategy is by no means transparent for subjects; as such any attempt at influencing the interpretation is impossible.
This criterion is impossible to be met by any questionnaire or any narrative projective test like Thematic Apperception Test but only by a performance-based test analyzing the performances of the client quantitatively [ 34 , 35 ]. As the Rorschach Inkblot Method RIM had provoked numerous discussions about its reliability, validity, and utility, it has received a maybe more intensive level of scrutiny than any other personality test, summarized in a meta-analysis and reproved in an independent blue ribbon panel.
Taken together, studies on reliability and validity of the RIM showed the same or even more valid results for the RIM as for other well-validated inventories [ 36 , 37 ]. However, as only a further few participants dropped out at later stages of the survey, the dropout rate can be deemed acceptable [ 38 ]. Overall, the questionnaire was completed times, constituting After checking for plausibility of answers, 4 records were removed, resulting in a total sample of participants female, 77 male aged years mean At the time of the survey, Less than half In total, 30 subjects The Rorschach Inkblot Test was conducted with a small sample of 16 voluntary male subjects.
Although 8 participants showed abusive Internet usage and 3 of them met the criteria for Internet addiction, a control group of 8 subjects with nonabusive Internet usage was recruited. Participants were aged between 18 and 47 years mean 31 years. Subjects were primarily students, full-time employees, or self-employed. On average, study participants had used the Internet for over 10 years mean The daily use of the Internet for private purpose amounted to an average of mean 4.
A majority of the sample None of the subjects stated that they used the Internet once a week, once a month, or less. Subjects used the Internet mainly for online shopping mean 2. Other popular services included online research mean 2. In contrast, games mean 0. Simple communication mean 3. Emotional support mean 2.
The lowest, sexual mean 1.
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More than half Therefore, secure and insecure attachment style was equally represented in the sample Table 1. Only 1. A majority An opposite trend can be detected when considering subjects without Internet addiction tendencies. A chi-square test was conducted. Most strikingly, an ambivalent attachment style was associated with Internet addiction. A univariate test of between-subjects effects analysis of variance, ANOVA was conducted to investigate the relationships between attachment style and motives for Internet use.
To check for significant differences between the three attachment styles, post hoc single comparisons were performed. Bonferroni correction was used to adjust the significance threshold for multiple comparisons. Ambivalent-closed participants showed significantly higher values in the motives anonymity mean 2. It was checked whether people with Internet addiction tendencies differed significantly in their online relationship motives compared with normal Internet users. For all motives, participants with Internet addiction tendencies had higher mean values see Figure 1. Using the conservative Pillai trace, no significant main effect for the factor attachment style could be found.
Thus, the hypothesis that the use of various Web-based services and apps is associated with different binding styles can be rejected. There were significant differences between groups with and without Internet addiction tendencies with regard to the use of Web-based sex services t The comparison of means showed that both services were more frequently used by subjects with Internet addiction tendencies forums or chats: mean 2. Therefore, the group of abusive Internet users can be regarded not only as particularly aggression-inhibited, but also as aggressive patients.
Of particular interest in this context is the common assumption that the online world can both dissipate and fuel aggression. Although a growing body of scientific literature highlights that Internet addiction is a serious health problem, there have been no etiopathological studies to support this claim. Since an association between secure or insecure attachment and substance dependence is well-documented, the aim of this study was to examine whether people differ in their Internet addiction tendencies in regards to their attachment style.
The assumption that insecure attached people show higher Internet addiction tendencies could be confirmed. Ambivalent attachment styles were particularly associated with pathological Internet usage tendencies. For ambivalent-closed attached people, the motives anonymity and social support were significantly more important than for secure and conditionally secure users.
Furthermore, participants with Internet addiction tendencies usage identified anonymity, emotional support, escapism, and social compensation as important relationship motives for Internet use. However, attachment styles were not associated with the Web-based services used. Nonetheless, there was a difference in the use of Web-based services with regards to the Internet addiction tendencies. In particular, participants with Internet addiction tendencies engaged significantly more in Web-based chats and forums than normal users. Thus, the possibility of Web-based communication seems to play a prevalent role in the context of pathological Internet use.
It appears therefore that, in comparison with Web-based services used, motivational factors relating to online relationships can best explain this finding. In contrast, the relationship between the Web-based services used and the tendency toward Internet addiction can be attributed to the individual addictive potential of the particular Web-based service in question. Overall, the findings of the Rorschach Inkblot Test are in line with the results of the Web-based survey, in which abusive Internet use presents itself as a function of insecure attachment and impaired interpersonal relationships, that is, the preference for chats and forums by study participants with tendencies toward Internet addiction as a result of an infantile relationship that has not reached the level of group compatibility.
Chats and forums offer fictional contact with a group, while communication between users remains in virtual space, which in turn significantly weakens the experience of group presence. Thus, communication in chat-rooms or forums is within the framework of a group constellation, however, always experienced at the level of primary intersubjectivity, that is, within the relationship between I and You. Considering interpersonal skills as an expression of attachment capability [ 39 ], it is striking that the intersubjectivity of abusive Internet users has not reached the level of maturity of secondary intersubjectivity [ 40 , 41 ].
These results illustrate the escapist and social-compensatory function associated with pathological Internet usage. Although ambivalent-closed users demonstrate difficulties with acceptance and opening up to others, a parallel desire to connect with others also exists [ 42 ]. On this basis, it can be assumed that the Internet offers specific opportunities for interaction that people with a high Internet addiction tendency do perceive as sufficient forms of communication.