Matthijs Nagtzaam 12900796
Master Thesis Entertainment Communication
University of Amsterdam 01 July 2022
Thesis Supervisor: Amber van der Wal Word count: 7248
TikTok & Study
The relationship between TikTok and Academic
Performance among Students in the Netherlands
TikTok is currently one of the most popular social media platforms, especially among young adults. While TikTok use may fulfill various needs, extensive use may lead to addiction, which in turn could have negative effects, on, for example, academic performance. Yet, research on this topic is lacking, since TikTok is a fairly new social media application, on which research has not got up yet. Therefore, guided by the uses and gratifications theory, this study examined which needs (recognition, social, information, and entertainment needs) are related to TikTok use and the relationship between TikTok addiction and academic performance among students in the Netherlands, and how this relationship is potentially mediated by procrastination and
moderated by biological sex.
An online survey was conducted among students of the University of Amsterdam (N = 309, 88.3% female, aged 18- 28 years old). The analysis of the needs showed to be partly significant.
Recognition and social needs had a significant positive relationship with TikTok Addiction, whereas information and entertainment needs did not. Results showed that TikTok addiction was not related to academic performance. There was a significant positive relationship between TikTok Addiction and Procrastination. No other significant relationships were found.
Implications of findings are discussed and directions for future research are provided to give more insight into the effects of TikTok addiction.
The use of mobile phones has become mainstream in our current society (Omar & Dequan, 2020). People look at their phones, almost every free minute they have. These small viewing episodes are very short and there is one app that has made particular use of this, TikTok. TikTok is a short video social networking application that allows users to create, edit, and share 15- second videos and looping 60-second videos of themselves displaying dancing, singing, sports, and more with a wide selection of music and a myriad of easy-to-use professional filters and editing services (Bucknell Bossen & Kottasz, 2020; Cervi, 2021; Omar & Dequan, 2020; Zeng et al., 2021) TikTok started in China in 2016 as Douyin (Cervi, 2021; Omar & Dequan, 2020).
In 2018, it became available worldwide and has been growing rapidly ever since. Today TikTok has 800 million users, surpassing, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram in popularity (Cervi, 2021). Nearly half of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old (Cervi, 2021), followed by the age group of 25 to 29 years old (Statista, 2021). TikTok’s impressive growth and its many active users show that the app is here to stay. Since TikTok is fairly new, not much research has been done on it. Most research has focused on other social media such as Instagram and
Facebook. Especially for the relationship between social media and Academic Performance.
TikTok is one of the biggest social media at the moment and should therefore be researched to see what its effects are. This is also important for society. Back in the day people were afraid of the television when it first arrive because people did not understand it (Enli et al., 2013).
Nowadays there are a lot of social media, so people are not scared anymore of new ones. Until social media is researched we cannot know for sure what its effects are. If the usage of social media such as TikTok influences a student’s study results, it is important for the students to know this. It is also important for teachers and parents that can have the responsibility to monitor their students or child’s social media usage and help them to limit this if needed.
Yet, despite TikTok’s immense popularity, it is not exactly clear what people get out of TikTok use. TikTok may primarily serve to entertain, as previous research has shown that the large majority of TikTok videos contain humor (Montag et al., 2021). However, TikTok also played a very important role in the recent pandemic in providing information about proper hygiene, vaccinations, cooking videvideostails of everyday pandemic life, and much more, so young adults may also turn to the platform to gather specific information (Unni & Weinstein, 2021). Alternatively, they may post videos themselves to get attention or to get in contact with other people (Vaterlaus & Winter, 2021). Therefore, the first goal of the current study is to examine how different needs are related to TikTok use.
Importantly, TikTok use is not only a fun way to kill time and potentially satisfy certain needs: intensive use of social media apps can lead to an addiction. A very recent study actually stated that TikTok is the most addictive social media at the moment (Marengo, 2022). Most of the frequent TikTok users are pursuing a degree in postsecondary education, a process that
3 determines their future to a great extent (Foroughi, 2021). As such, the immersive use of TikTok or even addiction could distract a student from their study task and possibly influence their academic result. A student that is more active in school, more focused, and less distracted, has good academic results. This research tends to look if this is actually the case.
Specifically during the study, students will get a lot of deadlines regarding exams and study tasks. When they are addicted to TikTok they will probably choose TikTok instead of starting or working on their study tasks. This way of avoidance behavior is called procrastination (Pekpazar et al., 2021). With this behavior, students will delay their study tasks until the very last and or even until it is too late. This might harm their study results and possibly their future. The
possible influence of procrastination on the relationship between TikTok addiction and academic performance has been researched multiple times, but still little is known about the association between social media use on smartphones and procrastination (Aalbers, 2021). Therefore, the third goal of this study is to examine the mediating role of procrastination in the relationship between TikTok addiction and academic performance.
Finally, looking at the many users that TikTok has, the diversity of people that use TikTok is very high (Statista, 2021). It is not an app that is just for males or just for females. The app is meant for everyone. But there is the possibility that men and women experience TikTok
differently, given that men and women experience social media differently (Li, 2021).
Therefore, the effects of TikTok can be different for men and women. Research has shown that sex differences have an effect on how an individual difference experiences social media effects (Calandri et al., 2021; Nayak, 2018; Yurdagül et al., 2019). Therefore the fourth goal of this study is to examine the possible role of biological sex as a moderator in the relationship between TikTok addiction and academic performance. Taken together, the overarching research question this study aims to answer is:
Which needs predict TikTok addiction and what is the relationship between Tik-Tok Addiction, procrastination and academic performance, among students in the Netherlands , and is this relationship different for different sexes?
4 Theoretical Framework
Tik Tok Addiction
Tablets, smartwatches, and smartphones, all these devices have contributed to the increase in the use of the internet (Foroughi et al., 2021). They have particularly increased the use of social networking sites (SNS), also known as social media. Nowadays these are easily accessible through all the social media apps. One of the newest of these social media apps is TikTok. This app has many users worldwide and has become one of the mainstream social media apps. As stated earlier, the use of TikTok can lead to an addiction, earlier than with other social media apps (Foroughi et al., 2021; Marengo et al., 2022). To understand this addiction, it is a good start to look at why people use TikTok so much.
Needs and Uses for TikTok
Understanding why people intend to use TikTok so much can be explained by the Uses and Gratifications Theory (UGT), developed by Elihu Katz (Griffin et al. 2015; Katz et al., 1973).
This theory explains how psychological and social factors influence people’s preferences for media use and what needs people try to fulfill (Foroughi et al., 2021). Katz’s fundamental assumption for this theory was that “the study of how media affect people must take account of the fact that people deliberately use media for particular purposes” (Griffin et al. 2015, p.73-82).
The gratifications and needs of an individual play a big role in determining an individual’s dependency on social media usage (Foroughi et al., 2021). These needs are different for every individual. Each individual tries to fulfill their specific needs by using social media (Griffin et al. 2015). For, example posting videos for attention may be a motivation for some individuals to use SNS, but meeting new people or making friends may be the motivation for other individuals.
Foroughi et al. (2021) stated that the UGT has been used to look at the motivations of various types of social media use, namely Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Based on UGT, there are four major motivations or needs for using social media such as TikTok that may lead to addiction (Chen et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021). These four needs are recognition needs, information needs, social needs, and entertainment needs. The need for recognition is described as when someone interacts with others and seeks to be recognized (Chen et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021). Someone would try to accomplish this by using social media and engaging with other users to get recognition. For example by sharing a video or photo and hoping that a lot of people will react. The need for information is described as when
someone desires to obtain information (Chen et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021). An individual could use social media to obtain information such as the news, or inform ation about events, brands, people, and more. Social needs refer to the need to have a relationship or contact with someone. Lastly, entertainment needs are the need for someone to be entertained (Chen et al.,
5 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021), which can be fulfilled for example by looking at funny videos on TikTok.
The fulfillment of these needs through the use of social media provides a strong incentive for intensive use of social media, which can lead to social media addiction. A recent study by Foroughi et al. (2021) showed that recognition needs, social needs, and entertainment needs all contributed to Instagram addiction. Only information needs were not a significant predictor of Instagram addiction. Foroughi et al (2021) stated that this was the case due to the different design of Instagram compared to for example Facebook. TikTok has a different design than Instagram and therefore the following hypothesis has been established and will be tested that all the needs are associated with TikTok addiction.
Hypothesis 1 (H1): Recognition needs, information needs, social needs, and entertainment needs are all positively associated with Tik Tok addiction among students.
TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance
TikTok is still rapidly growing in its amount of users. Not only the amount of users is increasing, but also the amount of time that people spent on TikTok is increasing (Foroughi et al., 2021). The intensive use of social media such as TikTok can lead to addiction (Foroughi et al., 2021). In a study by Marengo et al. (2022) that looked at what social media are the most addictive, it was found that nowadays TikTok has the highest predictive value of current social media addictions. This addiction can distract people from other tasks or their daily life.
In society, there is a big concern that people are less able to concentrate and sustain attention because they are continuously distracted by social media, such as TikTok (Siebers et al., 2021). A study by Siebers et al. (2021) showed that social media use and distraction were positively related among 82.5% of their participants. This can be especially problematic for students that need to focus on their studies. Students that are less able to concentrate and keep attention on their study tasks, risk the possibility of getting bad study results. For a student, the study results or so-called academic performance is an important part of their life. Being active in school and having good concentration will most likely lead to higher academic performance (Foroughi et al., 2021; Siebers et al., 2021). Academic performance is sometimes conceptualized as Grade Point Average (GPA) (Foroughi et al., 2021; Lemay et al., 2019; Pekpazar et al., 2021). This reflects the overall score of a student’s performance in their study. This is very important for students since it can impact their future life. Therefore it is important to look at the possible relationship between TikTok addiction (intensive TikTok use) and academic performance.
Former studies looked at the relationship between social media use or addiction and academic performance. The results of these studies are mixed (Foroughi et al., 2021; Lau, 2017; Lemay et al.,
6 2019; Nayak, 2018). Studies by Pekpazar et al. (2021) and Lau (2017) found no relationship between social media use and academic performance. But the study by Lau (2017) looked specifically at social media for academic purposes instead of just one social media application. Pekpazar et al. (2021) looked at Instagram, used self-esteem in their model, and measured the GPA over a three-month time period. Findings by Lemay et al. (2019) suggest that different measures of social media and academic performance can yield different links. Still, they acknowledge the fact that many studies have found a negative relationship. Next to that the majority of the studies looked at different sorts of social media and found a negative relationship with academic performance (Foroughi et al., 2021; Lemay et al., 2019; Nayak 2018). Therefore it is expected that there will also be a negative relationship between TikTok addiction and academic performance.
Hypothesis 2 (H2): Tik-Tok addiction is negatively related to academic performance
Procrastination as Mediator
A social media addiction might not directly influence a student’s academic performance, but through a phenomenon called procrastination. Procrastination is a way of avoidance behavior or escapism (Myrick, 2015; Pekpazar et al., 2021; Tuckman, 1991). The problem of procrastination is encountered by many college students (Tuckman, 1991) and it is a big problem when it comes to procrastinating academic tasks (Pekpazar et al., 2021). The procrastination of academic tasks such as papers, exams, or assignments could lead to lower academic performance. When students start to procrastinate on their academic tasks, it can have a harmful effect later on in life, since they probably get less good study results.
This procrastination mostly comes forward to being busy with other activities such as spending time on social media (Pekpazar et al., 2021; Tuckman, 1991). There is a possible relationship between entertainment media, such as the social media application TikTok, and procrastination (Myrick, 2015). Entertainment media gives the motivation to procrastinate.
Social media can draw a user’s attention by displaying messages, pop-ups, notifications, or sounds and vibrations (Aalbers et al., 2021). This can distract someone from their other tasks such as academic tasks and procrastinate until they are done with their social media. When the use of social media is intensive at the level of addiction, a person is probably going to
procrastinate more. A study by Pekpazar et al. (2021) showed that Instagram addiction was positively related to procrastination. Next to that Aalbers et al. (2021) stated that social media use was positively, but weakly associated with procrastination. Furthermore, students that are addicted to social media or the internet are more likely to procrastinate (Aznar-Díaz et al., 2020;
Gong et al., 2021; Pekpazar et al., 2021). This is portrayed in the following hypothesis for TikTok Addiction.
7 Hypothesis 3 (H3): Tik Tok addiction is positively related to procrastination
When students tend to procrastinate on their academic tasks, they will most likely have a lower academic performance. Procrastinating academic tasks until just a few days before the deadline will probably influence the quality of the academic tasks. Many studies have found a negative relationship between procrastination and academic performance (Azizi et al., 2019;
Busalim et al., 2019; Goroshit, 2018; Kim et al., 2017). Procrastination affects academic performance negatively because a student will either start too late and will not be able to finish the tasks on time or finish the tasks with lower quality (Pekpazar et al., 2021). Therefore, the following hypothesis was formulated:
Hypothesis 4 (H4): Procrastination is negatively related to academic performance.
Several studies have shown that there is a relationship between social media and
procrastination (Aalbers et al., 2021; Aznar-Díaz et al., 2020; Gong et al., 2021; Pekpazar et al., 2021) and several studies have shown that there is a relationship between procrastination and academic performance (Azizi et al., 2019; Busalim et al., 2019; Goroshit, 2018; Kim et al., 2017, Pekpazar et al., 2021). A study by Pekpazar et al. (2021) found that the relationship between Instagram addiction and academic performance is mediated by procrastination. This study looks at the relationship between TikTok Addiction instead of Instagram addiction and academic performance. Therefore it is expected that procrastination will be a mediator in this relationship.
Hypothesis 5 (H5): The relationship between Tik-Tok addiction and Academic Performance is mediated by procrastination.
Biological Sex as Moderator
Some studies look at the possible influence of biological sex as a moderator for the effects of social media use (Calandri et al., 2021; Nayak, 2018; Yurdagül et al., 2019). In this study biological sex is seen as the sex that was assigned to a person at birth, which can be male or female (Garofalo & Garvin, 2020). The difference in biological sex can affect how a person uses social media and how they process the content they see since males and females use different approaches to process information (Calandri et al., 2021; Nayak, 2018; Yurdagül et al., 2019).
Calandri et al. (2021) found that men are more likely to use social media for instrumental exchanges, whereas women are more likely to use social media for emotional aspects. The more
8 emotional aspect of social media use could result in more effects from using social media, because of the emotional impact. A study showed that females seem to be more vulnerable to the effects of social media use (Calandri et al., 2021). Next to that Nayak (2018) found that the amount of smartphone usage was higher for female students than for male students. Therefore the effect of TikTok Addiction on Academic Performance may be stronger for females than for males. Moreover, females have been found more likely to develop habitual, problematic, and addictive smartphone behaviors and social media use compared to men (Nayak, 2018; Yurdagül et al., 2019). This shows that females are more likely to develop a TikTok Addiction. Nayak (2018) even found that gender moderated the relationship between social media addiction and academic performance. This raises the expectation that women may be more vulnerable to social media effects and social media addictions.
The following hypothesis will be tested based on this expectation.
H6: The relation between Tik-Tok addiction and academic performance is stronger for females than for males.
Figure 1: Conceptual Model and Hypotheses
Method and Design
The research method for this study was a survey. Ethical approval was obtained from the ethics committee of the University of Amsterdam (Ethical Request Number: 2022-YME-15065).
The survey was conducted online through the Research Lab of the University of Amsterdam.
This is a place for students to contribute to science by participating in research. The survey took place online, enabling participants to complete the survey in their own space and time. In addition this way, there would not be an influence of a laboratory environment setting. By participating in the online survey, students of the University of Amsterdam were rewarded with research credit points. Students need to collect around 15 credits throughout their study years by participating in research. This online survey granted 0.5 credits. It took participants an average time of 7 minutes to complete the survey. The survey was set up using the software Qualtrics.
The anonymity of the participants was guaranteed as no identifying information was registered.
Participants were recruited by using a non-probability sampling method in the form of voluntary response sampling. The sample consisted of a total of 325 participants. A power analysis was conducted with the software GPower 3.1. This showed, that for sufficient power a total of 320 participants were needed. The sample corresponds to the needed amount of
All of these participants are students at the University of Amsterdam . Because of some unfinished responses (n = 10) and participants that answered “no” on the question if they used TikTok (n = 6), 16 responses were deleted from the dataset. A total of 309 participants were included in the analyses. Of these 11.7% are male (n = 36) and 88.3% are female (n = 273), with a mean age of 20.71 (SD = 1.67). All of the participants are students at the University of
Amsterdam. Most of the participants were 2nd year bachelor’s students 45.6% (n = 141). Around 26.9% were 1st year bachelor’s (n = 83) and 26.2% were 3rd year bachelor’s students (n = 81).
Just a few were 1st year master’s students 1.3% (n = 4).
Participants could go to the online Research Lab of the University of Amsterdam and find and participate in the survey. At the start of the survey participants were shown a factsheet and had to agree to the informed consent in order to fill in the survey. Next, participants were asked some general demographic questions, such as age, biological sex, and their current study year. I n addition, participants answered questions about their GPA for their current study year,
procrastination behavior, their needs for using TikTok, and their level of TikTok Addiction. In
10 the end, the participants had to agree to the data submission and would get a message that
thanked them for their time and participation.
Measures Independent Variables
TikTok addiction was measured by a 6-point Likert scale, ranging from (1) Never to (6) Always, adapted from Pekpazar et al. (2021). It consists of 15 items of the Instagram Addiction Scale (IA) constructed by Pekpazar et al. (2021) and has been adapted for TikTok into the first TikTok Addiction Scales (TAS). The scale by Pekpazar et al. (2021) had a good reliability α = 0.93. The scale has a maximum score of 90 and a minimum score of 15. The cut-off points described by Pekpazar et al.
(2021) are non-addiction (15-37), mild addiction (38-58), moderate addiction (59-73), and severe addiction (73+). The 15 items of the TikTok Addiction Scale (TAS) are included in the appendix of this study.
A factor analysis with principal axis factoring and oblimin rotation for the TikTok Addiction items, showed 2 factors with an eigenvalue > 1 (Factor 1: EW = 6.45, VV = 42.99%; Factor 2: EW = 1.90, VV = 12.68%). Based on the theory for the TikTok Addiction Scale, one factor was expected (Pekpazar et al., 2021). Therefore all items will be used in a reliability analysis. The reliability analysis showed that all items together form one reliable scale, α = 0.92. A new scale was made called TikTok Addiction Score by taking the sum of all the items.
There are four needs, or predictors, that will be measured. These are recognition needs, information needs, social needs, and entertainment needs. These needs for TikTok addiction were measured by 20 statements, 5 statements per need (Chen et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021). A 5-point Liker scale was used ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree, to rate each statement.
For example “I use TikTok to establish my personal identity” and “I use TikTok because it is entertaining”. The remaining items can be found in the appendix of this study. The scale and the items showed good reliabilities in former studies for all the needs, ranging from 0.84 to 0.93 (Foroughi et al., 2021). Next to that, it is shown that people can accurately report their media use and motivations (Griffin et al. 2015).
Firstly for all the four needs, a factor analysis was conducted. Next, a reliability analysis was conducted for each need. Last, a new mean score was created for each of the four needs. Recognition needs showed one factor in a factor analysis with principal axis factoring and oblimin rotation with an eigenvalue > 1 (EW = 2.72, VV = 54.46%). All items were used in a reliability analysis. The reliability analysis showed that all items together form one reliable scale, α = 0.77. All items were used to create
11 the new variable Recognition Needs Score.
Information needs showed one factor in a factor analysis with principal axis factoring and oblimin rotation with an eigenvalue > 1 (EW = 3.25, VV = 65.04%). All items were used in a reliability
analysis. The reliability analysis showed that all items together form one reliable scale, α = 0.87, which cannot be improved by removing other items from the scale. All items were used to create the new variable Information Needs Score.
Social needs showed one factor in a factor analysis with principal axis factoring and oblimin rotation with an eigenvalue > 1 (EW = 2.99, VV = 59.73%). All items were used in a reliability analysis. The reliability analysis showed that all items together form one reliable scale, α = 0.87, which cannot be improved by removing other items from the scale. All items were used to create the new variable Social Needs Score.
Entertainment needs showed one factor in a factor analysis with principal axis factoring and oblimin rotation with an eigenvalue > 1 (EW = 2.46, VV = 49.10%). All items were used in a reliability analysis. The reliability analysis showed that all items together form one medium reliable scale, α = 0.69. All items were used to create the new variable Entertainment Needs Score.
Dependent Variable Academic Performance
Academic performance is mostly measured by the so-called GPA (Grade Point Average) or CPGA (Cumulative Grade Point Average), which is the grade point average of a student, which means that it is the overall average grade of their current study year (Foroughi et al., 2021; Lau, 2017; Lemay et al., 2019; Pekpazar et al., 2021). Academic performance will be defined as the overall average score or grade that a student has or has received at their university, ranging from 1 to 10 (Foroughi et al., 2021; Lemay et al., 2019; Pekpazar et al., 2021). Academic performance was measured by measuring a student’s GPA. This was a self-reported measure, whereby the student was asked “What is your GPA (Grade Point Average / Average study grade) of your current study year?”. Students were already aware of their GPA or were able to find this in their grades and results overview of their study.
Procrastination was measured with 16 items adopted from the Tuckman (1991) procrastination scale. This version of the procrastination scale was recommended for use as a means of measuring students that procrastinate (Tuckman, 1991). There are multiple procrastination scales, but the scale by Tuckman (1991) is often used by researchers to measure procrastination (Myrick, 2015; Pekpazar et al., 2021). In a recent study, the scale showed a good reliability α = 0.94 (Pekpazar et al., 2021). The scale consists of a 5-point Likert scale ranging from (1) absolutely disagree to (5) totally agree.
12 A factor analysis with principal axis factoring and oblimin rotation for the Procrastination items, showed 2 factors with an eigenvalue > 1 (Factor 1: EW = 6.87, VV = 42.95%; Factor 2: EW = 1.37, VV = 8.53%). Based on the theory for the Procrastination Scale, one factor was expected (Tuckman, 1991). Therefore all items will be used in a reliability analysis. The reliability analysis showed that all items together form one good reliable scale, α = 0.76. A new scale was made called Procrastination Score.
First, all the data were cleaned and new variables were created in order to run the analyses.
Two analyses will be conducted. The first analysis will be done for the four types of needs and the variable TikTok Addiction. This will be a regression analysis since the dependent variables and the independent variable are ordinal.
The second analysis will be done for TikTok Addiction, Academic Performance, Biological Sex, and Procrastination. This will be a regression analysis with PROCESS V3.5 by Andrew F. Hayes.
The independent variable TikTok is ordinal as well as the dependent variable Academic Performance.
Procrastination is the mediator and is also numerical. Biological Sex is a dichotomous moderator that consists of two groups: male and female. With these two regression analyses, all hypotheses will be tested.
A descriptive analysis was used to show the descriptive results of the new scales. The results are shown in Table 1. As shown in Table 1, participants scored the highest on entertainment needs with information needs second and followed by recognition needs and social needs. Academic performance had a possible range of 1 to 10. The highest score was 9 and the lowest score was 2.
Variables Mean (M) Std. Deviation (SD)
Recognition Needs 2.39 0.76
Information Needs 3.06 0.91
Social Needs 2.26 0.89
Entertainment Needs 3.91 0.62
TikTok Addiction 34.96 11.68
Procrastination 3.13 0.50
Academic Performance 7.11 0.99
Table 1: Descriptive results
13 For TikTok addiction, the highest (possible range of 15 - 90) was 84 and the lowest score was 15. Based on the scores of the TikTok addiction scale and the cut-off points as stated by Pekpazar et al. (2021), respondents were divided into one the TikTok Addiction groups (non-addiction (15 - 37), mild addiction (38 - 58), moderate addiction (59 - 73), and severe addiction (73+). Table 2 shows an overview of the distribution of the TikTok addiction groups.
TikTok Addiction Groups N Percentages Non-addiction (15 – 37) 199 64.4%
Mild addiction (38 – 58) 93 30.1%
Moderate addiction (59 – 73) 16 5.25%
Severe addiction (73+) 1 0.3%
Table 2: TikTok Addiction Groups
Needs and TikTok Addiction
The first hypothesis that was tested was that recognition needs, information needs, social needs, and entertainment needs are all positively associated with Tik Tok Addiction (H1). A linear regression model with the needs as independent variables and TikTok Addiction as the dependent variable was significant, R² = 0.19, F(4, 304) = 18.26, p < 0.01. The regression model explains 19% of TikTok Addiction. Table 1 shows an overview of the results from the regression analysis.
There is a significant positive relationship between Recognition needs and TikTok Addiction, b = 0.26, t = 3.56, p < 0.001, 95% [1.78, 6.16] with a moderate effect size. Information needs are not significantly related to TikTok Addiction b = 0.07, t = 1.11, p = 0.269, 95% [-0.69, 2.45]. The relationship between Social Needs and TikTok Addiction is also positively significant b = 0.19, t = 2.71, p = 0.007, 95% [0.68, 4.27] and has a moderate effect size. Last, Entertainment Needs and TikTok Addiction are not significantly related b = -0.04, t = -0.67, p = 0.501, 95% [-2.75, 1.35]. This results show that H1 (Recognition needs, information needs, social needs, and entertainment needs are all positively associated with Tik Tok addiction among students) is partly supported since two needs are positively associated with TikTok addiction.
TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance
The second hypothesis that was tested was that TikTok addiction is negatively related to academic performance (H2). A linear regression model with PROCESS V3.5 model 5 with TikTok Addiction as the independent variable, Academic Performance as the dependent variable,
Procrastination as a mediator, and Biological Sex as the moderator. The PROCESS Model 5 regression analysis was not significant R² = 0.02, F(4, 304) = 1.44, p = 0.200. There is no direct
14 relationship between TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance when Procrastination is included as a mediator and Biological Sex as a moderator. Therefore, H2 (Tik-Tok addiction is negatively related to academic performance) is not supported.
Independent Variables Standardized Coefficients Beta T value
TikTok Addiction -0.03 -1.20
Procrastination -0.21 -1.84
Biological Sex -0.52 1.05
Table 3: Results Regression Analysis TikTok Addiction, Academic Performance, Procrastination, and Biological Sex
The mediation of Procrastination
The PROCESS regression model showed that the regression model with TikTok Addiction as the independent variable and Procrastination as the dependent variable was significant R² = 0.07, F(1, 307) = 23.41, p < 0.001. TikTok Addiction has a positive significant relationship with Procrastination b = 0.01, t = -4.84, p < 0.01, 95% [0.01, 0.02]. Therefore H3 (Tik Tok addiction is positively related to procrastination) can be supported.
The PROCESS regression model with TikTok Addiction as the independent variable,
Academic Performance as the dependent variable, Procrastination as a mediator, and Biological Sex as the moderator showed that procrastination has no significant relationship with Academic Performance b = -0.21, t = -1.84, p = 0.07, 95% [-0.44, 0.02]. Therefore H4 (Procrastination is negatively related to academic performance) cannot be supported.
Based on the regression analysis with PROCESS H5 (The relationship between Tik-Tok addiction and Academic Performance is mediated by procrastination) cannot be supported since the result of the model is not significant and the direct effect is not significant. Next to that only one pathway of the mediator is significant. Also, the indirect effect of TikTok addiction on academic performance via procrastination does not remove the direct effect.
Biological Sex as a Moderator
Based on the regression model there are no significant differences between males and females in the relationship between TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance, b = -0.52, t = -1.05, p = 0.296, 95% [-1.51, 0.46]. Below are the results of the conditional effects of Biological Sex.
Biological Sex Groups Effect T value
(1) Male -0.02 -1.24
(2) Female -0.00 -0.10
Table 4: Results Biological Sex as Moderator
15 the results show that both for males and females the relationship is not significant. Therefore H6 (The relation between Tik-Tok addiction and academic performance stronger for females than for males) cannot be supported.
The amount of research on the topic of TikTok and academic performance is fairly low.
People use TikTok intensively, but the various needs that TikTok use fulfills are not clear. The purpose of this study was to examine, guided by the uses and gratifications theory, which needs are related to TikTok use and the relationship between TikTok addiction and academic performance among students in the Netherlands, and how this relationship is potentially mediated by
procrastination and moderated by biological sex. This was examined through a survey among Dutch in which they were asked about their needs for using TikTok (recognition, social, information,
entertainment), TikTok addiction, and procrastination behavior.
The scores of the TikTok Addiction Scale (TAS) showed that most respondents had no addiction or a mild addiction based on the earlier stated cut-off points. Only a few respondents had a moderate addiction and just 1 had a severe addiction. This shows that not many respondents have a TikTok addiction and that while the study by Marengo et al. (2022) showed that TikTok is the most addictive social media compared to other social media. It was therefore expected that the addiction scores would be higher. Because of the low scores, maybe the cut-off points for de TikTok addiction scale need to be adjusted or follow-up research could look at TikTok use instead of TikTok addiction.
Looking at the four different needs that have been addressed, people scored the highest on entertainment needs followed by information needs, recognition needs, and last social needs. This means that people will mostly use TikTok for entertainment and to get information. When looking at the relationship between the four needs and TikTok addiction, only recognition needs and social needs have a significant relationship to TikTok addiction. That means that the needs are different for the use of TikTok and the needs that relate to a TikTok addiction. This can be due to the fact that this study looked at the mean scores of all the needs, instead of person-specific effects. People that have more need for recognition and social contact will be more likely to become addicted to TikTok and maybe experience problems with their academic performance. This need for recognition and social contact will probably be fulfilled by posting videos themselves and getting reactions, likes, and messages or/and by reacting, liking, and messaging on videos of other people. The need for entertainment and information is probably fulfilled by just watching on TikTok and scrolling through videos. These person-specific effects and differences are important to research in the future (Beyens et al., 2021;
Valkenburg et al., 2021). A study by Valkenburg et al. (2021)even says that person-specific effects can no longer be ignored in future media effects theories and research. Similar to a study by Beyens et al.
16 (2021) found that within-person effects of social media use are different from between-person effects and should not be ignored in future media effects studies.
The results of this study are partly in line with the results from Foroughi et al. (2021), that found that all, except information needs, were related to TikTok addiction. But this current study also found that entertainment needs were not related to TikTok addiction. The difference
between these findings can be explained based on the difference between TikTok and Instagram.
Since these are two different social media, with different functions and purposes, the needs to become addicted to each one could be different. Instagram also allows people to post pictures, long videos called reels, and stories in comparison to TikTok where people can only post short videos.
There was no significant relationship between TikTok addiction and academic performance, which is not in line with the majority of previous studies on Instagram research (Foroughi et al., 2021; Nayak, 2018; Pekpazar et al., 2021). However, the results of this study are in line with the results from the study by Lau (2017) in which no relationship between social media usage and Academic Performance was found.
This research did find a significant relationship between TikTok Addiction and Procrastination which is in line with former studies (Aalbers et al., 2021; Aznar-Díaz et al., 2020; Gong et al., 2021; Pekpazar et al., 2021). This means that when people are addicted to TikTok, and therefore spend more time on TikTok, they are more likely to procrastinate.
Apparently, however, this procrastination behaviour does not lead to lower grades as no significant relationship was found between Procrastination and Academic Performance. This result is not in line with results from earlier studies that did find a significant relationship (Azizi et al., 2019; Busalim et al., 2019; Goroshit, 2018; Kim et al., 2017; Pekpazar et al., 2021). This can be explained due to the fact that the variance of Academic Performance (GPA) was low.
Almost all respondents had a good and similar GPA, so there was no spread and no low or higher GPA to compare to. As such, it is important for future studies to include students that may be struggling with their academic performance.
The possible mediation of Procrastination was not supported in this research. Research by Pekpazar et al. (2021) showed that Procrastination was a mediator, but this was for Instagram addiction and academic performance, whereas this study looked at TikTok Addiction. More research should explore the possible mediating factor of procrastination.
Lastly, this study did not support the moderation of biological sex on the relationship between TikTok addiction on academic performance. This would mean that there is no difference between men and women in how their TikTok addiction would influence their academic performance. This result is not in line with previous studies that showed that differences in sex had an effect on the relationship between social media and independent variables such as academic performance (Calandri et al., 2021; Nayak, 2018; Yurdagül et al.,
17 2019). This result is probably due to the lack of male participants in this study. There was a bias towards women that probably caused the results to not be significant.
This research was one of the first to focus on the relationship between TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance. Thereby taking into account the possible moderation of Biological Sex and the Mediation of Procrastination. All the participants were students at the University of Amsterdam that use TikTok. The research consisted of an online survey. This is a limitation to this research because a survey can only establish a possible relationship between variables and not a causal effect.
The analysis showed that there was a good construct validity for all the variables. The factor and the reliability analysis both showed that every variable had a good reliable scale as was expected and based on former research (Chan et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021; Pekpazar et al., 2021).
The internal validity of this research was good but had a few issues. Participants were able to complete the survey in their own space and time. This can be helpful for participants since there is no rush or any influence of a laboratory setting. On the other hand, because of the non-laboratory setting, the internal validity is lower than research in a laboratory. This is because participants may have been distracted while filling in the survey in their own space and time, for example, because they were traveling or multitasking with other tasks. Next to that, the question about Academic Performance or GPA was not clear for all the participants. Some participants understood Academic Performance as the American GPA that reaches from 1 to 4, instead of the European GPA which reaches from 1 to 10.
This probably caused the average Academic Performance to be lower than it actually was.
Furthermore, there was no reversed question on one of the scales. A reversed question can be used to check if respondents are not simply checking boxes at random or all the same, especially in a matrix setup question in a survey. A reversed question could have been used to prevent the possibility of this to happen. Also, because of the survey research method, most results were self-reported. This could have caused a small bias in the measures since respondents were not truthful about their Academic Performance, Procrastination behavior, or TikTok Addiction. Future research could use an experiment where the researchers are in control of the measure so that there are no self-reported measures. Last, the survey offered a small reward in the form of research credits for the respondents. This could have given a small bias since people would just participate to receive the reward and pay less attention to the actual research. In future research, it is better to have people participate voluntarily and without a reward for participating.
The external validity of this research has some limitations. First, the generalizability is low.
This is because of the low population validity The sample of this research consisted of students in the Netherlands from the University of Amsterdam. Since this University is on the highest level of
18 education in the Netherlands, there were no respondents with a lower degree or education that
participated. Next to that, there was a bias toward women in this research. Only around 1/5 of the sample were male. Also nowadays it is very common to have more possible sex options between males and females. Especially under students in this generation. Therefore future research could look at more types of sexes or different genders.
Future research on the topic of TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance is necessary.
This research was one of the first to look at the relationship between TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance. Future research on TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance in the form of an experiment or longitudinal study could show a possible effect. Next to that future studies could brighten the sample, by looking at different respondents than just university students. For example high school students or HBO students. There is also the possibility to look at more cross-cultural differences than just students in the Netherlands. Since TikTok is very new and still developing and changing, a lot of future research on this topic will need to be done.
The current researcher and future researchers will help to understand different parts of the relationship between TikTok Addiction and Academic Performance. Students themselves should also be aware of the effects of using social media too much and the effects of social media addiction on their Academic Performance. Their Academic performance can shape the rest of their future, which is very important.
Aalbers, G., Vanden Abeele, M. M. P., Hendrickson, A. T., De Marez, L., & Keijsers, L. (2021). Caught in the moment: Are there person-specific associations between momentary procrastination and passively measured smartphone use? Mobile Media & Communication, 10(1), 115–135.
Azizi, S. M., Soroush, A., & Khatony, A. (2019). The relationship between social networking addiction and academic performance in Iranian students of medical sciences: A cross-sectional study. BMC Psychology, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-019-0305-0
Aznar-Díaz, I., Romero-Rodríguez, J. M., García-González, A., & Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2020). Mexican and Spanish university students’ internet addiction and academic procrastination: Correlation and potential factors. PLOS ONE, 15(5), e0233655. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0233655
Beyens, I., Pouwels, J. L., Van Driel, I. I., Keijsers, L., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2021). Social media use and adolescents’ Well-Being: Developing a typology of Person-Specific effect patterns. Communication Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/00936502211038196
Bucknell Bossen, C., & Kottasz, R. (2020). Uses and gratifications sought by pre-adolescent and adolescent TikTok consumers. Young Consumers, 21(4), 463–478. https://doi.org/10.1108/yc-07-2020-1186
Busalim, A. H., Masrom, M., & Binti Wan Zakaria, W. N. (2019). The impact of Facebook addiction and self- esteem on students’ academic performance: A multi-group analysis. Computers & Education, 142, 103651. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103651
Calandri, E., Graziano, F., & Rollé, L. (2021). Social media, depressive symptoms and WellBeing in early Adolescence. The moderating role of emotional Self-Efficacy and gender. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.660740
Cervi, L. (2021). Tik Tok and generation Z. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 12(2), 198–204.
20 Chan, M., Wu, X., Hao, Y., Xi, R., & Jin, T. (2012). Microblogging, online expression, and political efficacy
among young Chinese citizens: The moderating role of information and entertainment needs in the use of Weibo. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15(7), 345–349.
Enli, G., Moe, H., Sundet, V. S., & Syvertsen, T. (2013). From fear of television to fear for television. Media History, 19(2), 213–227. https://doi.org/10.1080/13688804.2013.791420
Foroughi, B., Griffiths, M. D., Iranmanesh, M., & Salamzadeh, Y. (2021). Associations between Instagram addiction, academic performance, social anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction among university students. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-021- 00510-5
Garofalo, E. M., & Garvin, H. M. (2020). The confusion between biological sex and gender and potential implications of misinterpretations. Sex Estimation of the Human Skeleton, 35–52.
Goroshit, M. (2018). Academic procrastination and academic performance: An initial basis for intervention.
Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 46(2), 131–142.
Griffin, E., Ledbetter, A., & Sparks, G. (2015). Uses and gratifications of Elihu Katz. In J.W.J. Beentjes &
R.J.W. van der Wurff (Eds.), Introduction to Communication Science (pp. 73-82). New York:
Katz, E., Blumler, J. G., & Gurevitch, M. (1973). Uses and Gratifications research. Public Opinion Quarterly, 37(4), 509. https://doi.org/10.1086/268109
Kim, S., Fernandez, S., & Terrier, L. (2017). Procrastination, personality traits, and academic performance:
When active and passive procrastination tell a different story. Personality and Individual Differences, 108, 154–157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.12.021
21 Lau, W. W. (2017). Effects of social media usage and social media multitasking on the academic performance
of university students. Computers in Human Behavior, 68, 286–291.
Lemay, D. J., Bazelais, P., & Doleck, T. (2019). Patterns of social networking use and academic performance:
Examining the link between quality and frequency of social networking use and academic
performance among college-level students. Education and Information Technologies, 25(3), 2261–
Li, X. (2021). Mobile social networking sites for emotional support: Moderating effect of gender. Current Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-02108-5
Marengo, D., Angelo Fabris, M., Longobardi, C., & Settanni, M. (2022). Smartphone and social media use contributed to individual tendencies towards social media addiction in Italian adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Addictive Behaviors, 126, 107204.
Montag, C., Yang, H., & Elhai, J. D. (2021). On the psychology of TikTok use: A first glimpse from empirical findings. Frontiers in Public Health, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.641673
Myrick, J. G. (2015). Emotion regulation, procrastination, and watching cat videos online: Who watches Internet cats, why, and to what effect? Computers in Human Behavior, 52, 168–176.
Nayak, J. K. (2018). Relationship among smartphone usage, addiction, academic performance and the moderating role of gender: A study of higher education students in India. Computers & Education, 123, 164–173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.05.007
Omar, B., & Dequan, W. (2020). Watch, share or create: The influence of personality traits and user
motivation on TikTok mobile video usage. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM), 14(04), 121. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijim.v14i04.12429
22 Pekpazar, A., Kaya Aydın, G., Aydın, U., Beyhan, H., & Arı, E. (2021). Role of Instagram addiction on
academic performance among Turkish university students: Mediating effect of procrastination.
Computers and Education Open, 2, 100049. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.caeo.2021.100049
Statista. (2021, 15 april). TikTok users in the Netherlands 2020–2021, by age group. Retrieved on 16 January 2022, van https://www.statista.com/statistics/1225413/tiktok-users-netherlands-by-age-group/
Siebers, T., Beyens, I., Pouwels, J. L., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2021). Social media and distraction: An experience sampling study among adolescents. Media Psychology, 25(3), 343–366.
Sun, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2021). A review of theories and models applied in studies of social media addiction and implications for future research. Addictive Behaviors, 114, 106699.
Tuckman, B. W. (1991). The Development and Concurrent Validity of the Procrastination Scale. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 51(2), 473–480. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164491512022
Unni, Z., & Weinstein, E. (2021). Shelter in place, connect online: Trending TikTok content during the early days of the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Adolescent Health, 68(5), 863–868.
Valkenburg, P., Beyens, I., Pouwels, J. L., Van Driel, I. I., & Keijsers, L. (2021). Social media use and adolescents’ Self-Esteem: Heading for a Person-Specific media effects paradigm. Journal of Communication, 71(1), 56–78. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqaa039
Vaterlaus, J. M., & Winter, M. (2021). TikTok: an exploratory study of young adults’ uses and gratifications.
The Social Science Journal, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/03623319.2021.1969882
Yurdagül, C., Kircaburun, K., Emirtekin, E., Wang, P., & Griffiths, M. D. (2019). Psychopathological consequences related to problematic Instagram use among adolescents: The Mediating role of body image dissatisfaction and moderating role of gender. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 19(5), 1385–1397. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00071-8
23 Zeng, J., Abidin, C., & Schäfer, M. S. (2021). Research perspectives on TikTok and its legacy apps:
Introduction. International Journal of Communication, 15, 3161–3172. https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh- 205427
1. Procrastination Scale Answer Scale:
(1) Absolutely disagree (2) Disagree
(3) Neutral (4) Agree (5) Totally agree
Items: (Pekpazar et al., 2021)
PS1: "I needlessly delay finishing jobs, even when they're important."
PS2: "I postpone starting in on things I don't like to do."
PS3: "When I have a deadline, I wait until the last minute."
PS4: "I delay making tough decisions."
PS5: "I keep putting off improving my work habits."
PS6: "I manage to find an excuse for not doing something."
PS7: "I put the necessary time into even boring tasks, like studying."
PS8: "I am an incurable time waster."
PS9: "I'm a time waster now but I can't seem to do anything about it."
PS10: "When something's too tough to tackle, I believe in postponing it."
PS11: "I promise myself I'll do something and then drag my feet."
PS12: "Whenever I make a plan of action, I follow it."
PS13: "Even though I hate myself if I don't get started, it doesn't get me going."
PS14: "I always finish important jobs with time to spare."
PS15: "I get stuck in neutral even though I know how important it is to get started."
PS16: "Putting something off until tomorrow is not the way I do it."
2. Tik Tok Addiction Scale Answer Scale:
(1) Never (2) Rarely (3) Sometimes (4) Often (5) Frequently (6) Always
Items: (Pekpazar et al., 2021) (Converted for TikTok)
TA1: "How often do you prefer the excitement of TikTok instead of being with your close friends?"
TA2: "How often do you form new relationships with fellow TikTok users?"
TA3: How often do you become defensive or secretive when anyone asks you what you do on TikTok?"
25 TA4: "How often do your grades or schoolwork suffers because of the amount of time you spend on TikTok?"
TA5: "How often do you snap, yell, or act annoyed if someone bothers you while you are on TikTok?"
TA6: "How often do you try to hide how long you've been on TikTok?"
TA7: "How often do you choose to spend more time on TikTok over going out with others?"
TA8: "How often do you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are not on TikTok, which goes away once you are back on TikTok?"
TA9: "How often do you try to cut down the amount of time you spend on TikTok and fail?"
TA10: "How often do you check your TikTok before something else that you need to do?"
TA11:"How often do you block out disturbing thoughts about your life with soothing thoughts of TikTok?"
TA12: "How often do you find yourself anticipating when you will go on TikTok again?"
TA13: "How often do you fear that life without TikTok would be boring, empty, and joyless?"
TA14:"How often do you lose sleep due to late night log-ins to TikTok?"
TA15: "How often do you find yourself saying just a few more minutes when on TikTok?"
3. Biological Sex
“What is your biological sex that was assigned to you at birth?”
Answer options: (1) Male (2) Female
4. Academic Performance
What is your current GPA (Grade point average) or Average study grade?
5. Needs scale
Answer scale: (Chan et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021).
(1) Strongly disagree (2) Disagree
(3) Neutral (4) Agree
(5) Strongly Agree
I use TikTok to:
Recognition Needs (Chan et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021).
RN1: To establish my personal identity RN2: To gain respect and support RN3: To build up my confidence RN4: Because it is satisfying
RN5: To promote or publicize my expertise
Information Needs (Chan et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021).
IN1: To broaden my knowledge base IN2: To find out what is going on in society
26 IN3: To understand events that are happening
IN4: To refine my thinking IN5: To get useful information
Social Needs (Chan et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021).
SN1: To express my feeling
SN2: To share my views, thoughts, and experience SN3: To stay in touch with people I know
SN4: To get peer support from others SN5: To meet interesting people
Entertainment Needs (Chan et al., 2012; Foroughi et al., 2021).
EN1: To pass time
EN2: Because I am curious EN3: Because it is entertaining EN4: Because it is funny EN5: Because it is trendy.