【Abstract】 This study raised the question of defining Internet addiction disorder (IAD) to be a new mental disease as an innovation in clinic practice and examined the perception among the Internet users in Mainland China. The analysis adhered to the perspective of diffusion of innovations as theoretical framework. Data were collected by online survey using snowball sampling. 518 respondents were recruited and 497 were used in analyses. Among them, 12.3% were classified as so-called Internet “addicts” according to the released diagnostic criteria, and 87.7% were “non-addicts”. No significant demographic differences were found between these two groups of Internet users, but the two were different in Internet connectedness items. By depicting the rate of awareness-knowledge of IAD as a new mental disease, accepting attitude toward this issue and willingness to change Internet usage accordingly, the study found it was still in the early stage of this diffusion process. As for communication channel usage, Internet was found to be crucial source both for information-seeking in general and for knowing IAD as a new mental disease in particular. This study also explored the predictive power of communication channel usage, Internet connectedness, flexible/rigid identification, IAD diagnosis, awareness-knowledge, stigma tolerance, face-loss in the decision-making of the diffusion process.
【Keywords】 China, Diffusion of innovations, Face-loss, Internet addiction disorder, Internet connectedness, Flexible/Rigid identification, Stigma tolerance.