The aim of the study was to analyze the relationship between problematic internet use by college students and interpersonal cognitive distortions and life satisfaction.
A total of 418 students, 260 females and 158 males, studying in different departments of the Fatih Faculty of Education, Karadeniz Technical University, participated. The Online Cognition Scale, Interpersonal Cognitive Distortions Scale, Life Satisfaction Scale and Personal Information Form were used as instruments.
A significant positive correlation was determined between problematic internet use and interpersonal cognitive distortions (r = .33, p < .01), and a negative one with life satisfaction (r = − .21, p < .01). Interpersonal cognitive distortions, life satisfaction and gender account for 21% of total variance (F(3413) = 37.30, p < .05). Findings revealed that males exhibit more problematic internet use than females, which subjects with a pessimistic perception of events have a higher level of problematic internet use than those with an optimistic perception and that subjects who always feel lonely exhibit greater problematic internet use than those who never or only sometimes experience feelings of loneliness.
Interpersonal cognitive distortions, life satisfaction and gender were significant predictors of problematic internet use. Problematic internet use exhibits significant variations according to gender, perception of events and feelings of loneliness.