Internet usage in the Philippines has increased by 67 million through the past twelve (12) months, listing the Filipinos as one of the top internet users in the world (Camus, 2018). Likewise, internet addiction in adolescents has become an urgent issue in the health education (Greydanus, D., & Greydanus, M., 2012). “Internet disorder” is still recommended for further study in the DSM 5 as stated in the 2016 article published by Sunstar Philippines.
According to BBC News (2017), China has one of the most alarming internet addiction case in the world, resulting it’s government to set boot camps which aims at treating internet and gaming addiction among teenagers. In an article from BBC by Allen ; Cheung in 2016, a murder case in China alarmed the world in which a teenager reportedly tied up and killed her own mother after being sent to the internet addiction boot camp. Moreover, in the Philippines a suspect in his late 20’s stabbed his three family members to death because he was restricted to play DOTA (Octaviano, 2016).
Adolescence is a critical period for behavioral changes and is one of the most rapid phases of human development (WHO, 2018). Hyung Hur (2006) stated that adolescents are easily faked in their virtual world, causing their personal and social relationships to be damaged.
The internet has become an unlimited space for information exchange, social networking, and the development of cyberbehaviors. (Greydanus, D., & Greydanus, M., 2012). Internet as stated by Esen, & Gündo?du (2010) is the revolution in the personal and business communication and information connection around the world. However, along with all the benefits the Internet brings, problems of excessive use are also becoming apparent such as addiction (Widyanto & McMurran, 2004). Nalwa and Anand (2003) defined internet addiction as the psychological addiction to the internet and characterized as increasing investment to the activities on internet and having unpleasant emotions when offline.
House, Umberson and Landis (1988) defined social support as the quality of support that an individual receives from social relationships. It can be explained as the level of an individuals’ belief that support from the society is accessible in terms of emotional, informational or physical support. Kassin, Fein, Markus, McBain ; Williams (2014) stated that social support is the experience of being valued, respected, cared about, and loved by others which may come from different sources such as family, friends, teachers, community, or any social groups to which one is affiliated. Furthermore, social relationships and social support are potent variables that can reduce exposure to stress, promote health, and buffer the impact of stress on health (Leung, 2007, 2011; Wright, 2000).
Adolescents with little social support show a significant preference for online social interaction (Leung, 2011). Lack of social support leads adolescents to seek support in virtual medium such as internet (Esen ; Gündo?du, 2010). According to a study by Smedema and McKenzie (2010), online chatting and internet use had a positive association with social support and well-being among individuals, especially in adolescents. Moreover, in a study conducted by Longman, O’Connor, and Obst in 2009 revealed that online games provided social support to players by having positive relationships between game engagements and participating in a massively multiplayer online game, which results to addiction.
Although several studies proposed that internet addiction might be associated with the perceived social support of adolescents in Western countries, significant knowledge gaps remain. Therefore, this study focused on the perceived social support and internet addiction among Filipino adolescents. In particular, this study attempts to investigate and examine the significant relationship between perceived social support and internet addiction. As well, this study aims to identify if perceived social support is a predictor of internet addiction, and will explore the level of Internet Addiction among Filipino Adolescents.