Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Siew Moi Phang

17 Potential of Palm Oil Mill Effluent in Algae Cultivation for Biodiesel Production

Authors: Nur Azreena Idris, Soh Kheang Loh, Harrison Lau Lik Nang, Yuen May Choo, Eminour Muzalina Mustafa, Vijaysri Vello, Cheng Yau Tan, Siew Moi Phang

Abstract:

It is estimated that about 0.65-0.67 m3 of palm oil mill effluent (POME) is generated when one tonne of fresh fruit bunches is processed. Owning to the high content of nutrients in POME, it has high potential as a medium for microalgae growth. This study attempted determining the growth rate, biomass productivity and biochemical composition of microalgae (Chlorella sp.) grown in different POME concentrations i.e. 6.25%, 12.5%, 25% and 50% at outdoor conditions using a 200-mL capacity high rate algae pond (HRAP) and 2 closed photobioreactors (PBRs) i.e. annular and flat panel. The strain, Chlorella sp. grown on 12.5% of POME in flat panel PBR exhibited the highest specific growth rate of 0.32/day and biomass productivity (27.1 mg/L/day) followed by those in HRAP and annular PBR. It further showed that a good growth of Chlorella sp. in 12.5% of POME could sufficiently reduce the nutrients of POME such as phosphate (PO4), nitrate (NO3), nitrite (NO2) and chemical oxygen demand (COD). The extracted algal oil from POME culture showed that the saturated fatty acids decreased while polyunsaturated fatty acids increased compared to those cultured in standard culture medium (Bold’s Basal medium). The biochemical compositions of the algae grown in flat panel PBR were the highest with lipid, protein and carbohydrate productivity of 17.91 mg/L/day, 34.65 mg/L/day and 21.44 mg/L/day, respectively. The microalgae cultivation in diluted POME had not only shown potential as biodiesel feedstock based on the fatty acids profile but also the ability to reduce pollutants e.g. PO4, NO3, NO2 and COD in biological wastewater treatment.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, photobioreactors, biomass productivity, specific growth rate

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16 A Challenge to Conserve Moklen Ethnic House: Case Study in Tubpla Village, Phang Nga Province, Southern Thailand

Authors: M. Attavanich, H. Kobayashi

Abstract:

Moklen is a sub-group of ethnic minority in Thailand. In the past, they were vagabonds of the sea. Their livelihood relied on the sea but they built temporary shelters to avoid strong wind and waves during monsoon season. Recently, they have permanently settled on land along coastal area and mangrove forest in Phang Nga and Phuket Province, Southern Thailand. Moklen people have their own housing culture: the Moklen ethnic house was built from local natural materials, indicating a unique structure and design. Its wooden structure is joined by rattan ropes. The construction process is very unique because of using body-based unit of measurement for design and construction. However, there are several threats for those unique structures. One of the most important threats on Moklen ethnic house is tsunami. Especially the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami caused widely damage to Southern Thailand and Phang Nga province was the most affected area. In that time, Moklen villages which are located along the coastal area also affected calamitously. In order to recover the damage in affected villages, mostly new modern style houses were provided by aid agencies. This process has caused a significant impact on Moklen housing culture. Not only tsunami, but also modernization has an influence on the changing appearance of the Moklen houses and the effect of modernization has been started to experience before the tsunami. As a result, local construction knowledge is very limited nowadays because the number of elderly people in Moklen has been decreasing drastically. Last but not the least, restrictions of construction materials which are originally provided from accessible mangroves, create limitations in building a Moklen house. In particular, after the Reserved Forest Act, wood chopping without any permission has become illegal. These are some of the most important reasons for Moklen ethnic houses to disappear. Nevertheless, according to the results of field surveys done in 2013 in Phang Nga province, it is found out that some Moklen ethnic houses are still available in Tubpla Village, but only a few. Next survey in the same area in 2014 showed that number of Moklen houses in the village has been started to increase significantly. That proves that there is a high potential to conserve Moklen houses. Also the project of our research team in February 2014 contributed to continuation of Moklen ethnic house. With the cooperation of the village leader and our team, it was aimed to construct a Moklen house with the help of local participants. For the project, villagers revealed the building knowledge and techniques, and in the end, project helped community to understand the value of their houses. Also, it was a good opportunity for Moklen children to learn about their culture. In addition, NGOs recently have started to support ecotourism projects in the village. It not only helps to preserve a way of life, but also contributes to preserve indigenous knowledge and techniques of Moklen ethnic house. This kind of supporting activities are important for the conservation of Moklen ethnic houses.

Keywords: conservation, construction project, Moklen Ethnic House, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

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15 Effects of Environmental Parameters on Salmonella Contaminated in Harvested Oysters (Crassostrea lugubris and Crassostrea belcheri)

Authors: Varangkana Thaotumpitak, Jarukorn Sripradite, Saharuetai Jeamsripong

Abstract:

Environmental contamination from wastewater discharges originated from anthropogenic activities introduces the accumulation of enteropathogenic bacteria in aquatic animals, especially in oysters, and in shellfish harvesting areas. The consumption of raw or partially cooked oysters can be a risk for seafood-borne diseases in human. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the presence of Salmonella in oyster meat samples, and environmental factors (ambient air temperature, relative humidity, gust wind speed, average wind speed, tidal condition, precipitation and season) by using the principal component analysis (PCA). One hundred and forty-four oyster meat samples were collected from four oyster harvesting areas in Phang Nga province, Thailand from March 2016 to February 2017. The prevalence of Salmonella of each site was ranged from 25.0-36.11% in oyster meat. The results of PCA showed that ambient air temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation were main factors correlated with Salmonella detection in these oysters. Positive relationship was observed between positive Salmonella in the oysters and relative humidity (PC1=0.413) and precipitation (PC1=0.607), while the negative association was found between ambient air temperature (PC1=0.338) and the presence of Salmonella in oyster samples. These results suggested that lower temperature and higher precipitation and higher relative humidity will possibly effect on Salmonella contamination of oyster meat. During the high risk period, harvesting of oysters should be prohibited to reduce pathogenic bacteria contamination and to minimize a hazard of humans from Salmonellosis.

Keywords: oyster, Phang Nga Bay, principal component analysis, Salmonella

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14 Effect of Span 60, Labrasol, and Cholesterol on Labisia pumila Loaded Niosomes Quality

Authors: H. Binti Ya’akob, C. Siew Chin, A. Abd Aziz, I. Ware, M. Fauzi Abd Jalil, N. Rashidah Ahmed, R. Sabtu

Abstract:

Labisia pumila (LP) plant extract has the potential to be applied in cosmeceutical products due to its anti-photoaging properties. The main purpose of this study was to improve transdermal delivery of LP by encapsulating LP in niosomes. Niosomes loaded LPs were prepared by coacervation phase separation method using non-ionic surfactant (Span 60), labrasol, and cholesterol. The optimum formula obtained were Span 60, labrasol and cholesterol at the mole ratio of 6:1:4. At the optimum formulation, the niosome obtained significantly improved the quality of transdermal penetration of LP compared to free LP.

Keywords: Labisia pumila, niosomes, transdermal, quality

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13 Revisited: Financial Literacy and How University Students Fare

Authors: Zaiton Osman, Phang Ing, Azaze Azizi Abd Adis, Izyanti Awg Razli, Mohd Rizwan Abd Majid, Rosle Mohidin

Abstract:

This study is conducted to investigate the level of financial literacy among students taking Financial Management and Banking in Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia. Students are asked to answer basic financial literacy questions in their first class before study commence and the similar questions were given in their final week of study (after 14 weeks of study duration). The comparison on their level of financial literacy will be examined. This study is expected to yields the following findings; firstly, comparison of the level of financial literacy 'before and after' courses in finance being introduced can be revealed. Secondly, it will provide suggestion on improving the standard of teaching and learning in financial management and banking courses and lastly it will help in identifying financial courses that are important in improving the level of financial literacy among students in Malaysia.

Keywords: financial literacy, university students, personal financial planning, business and management engineering

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12 Plastic Pipe Defect Detection Using Nonlinear Acoustic Modulation

Authors: Gigih Priyandoko, Mohd Fairusham Ghazali, Tan Siew Fun

Abstract:

This paper discusses about the defect detection of plastic pipe by using nonlinear acoustic wave modulation method. It is a sensitive method for damage detection and it is based on the propagation of high frequency acoustic waves in plastic pipe with low frequency excitation. The plastic pipe is excited simultaneously with a slow amplitude modulated vibration pumping wave and a constant amplitude probing wave. The frequency of both the excitation signals coincides with the resonances of the plastic pipe. A PVP pipe is used as the specimen as it is commonly used for the conveyance of liquid in many fields. The results obtained are being observed and the difference between uncracked specimen and cracked specimen can be distinguished clearly.

Keywords: plastic pipe, defect detection, nonlinear acoustic modulation, excitation

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11 Positive Affect, Negative Affect, Organizational and Motivational Factor on the Acceptance of Big Data Technologies

Authors: Sook Ching Yee, Angela Siew Hoong Lee

Abstract:

Big data technologies have become a trend to exploit business opportunities and provide valuable business insights through the analysis of big data. However, there are still many organizations that have yet to adopt big data technologies especially small and medium organizations (SME). This study uses the technology acceptance model (TAM) to look into several constructs in the TAM and other additional constructs which are positive affect, negative affect, organizational factor and motivational factor. The conceptual model proposed in the study will be tested on the relationship and influence of positive affect, negative affect, organizational factor and motivational factor towards the intention to use big data technologies to produce an outcome. Empirical research is used in this study by conducting a survey to collect data.

Keywords: big data technologies, motivational factor, negative affect, organizational factor, positive affect, technology acceptance model (TAM)

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10 Retirement Planning and Job Satisfaction: Cushion to Avoid Bridge Employment?

Authors: Zaiton Osman, Imbarine Bujang, Azaze-Azizi Abdul Adis, Grace Phang Ing, Mohd Rizwan Abdul Majid, Izyanti Awang Razli

Abstract:

Retirement forces older workers to disconnect with their previous behavioural patterns and economic position. Transition and adjustment from working life to retirement places create psychological pressure and financial distress on older workers, especially those with dependent children. Bridge employment provides a solution for older workers to continue working after retirement while transitioning into retirement slowly and smoothly. As losing the job role has a significant impact on the psychological well-being of retirees, engageing in bridge employment helps to fulfill the important psychological functions of older workers by providing an adaptive style to retirement. This study investigates the influence of retirement planning and job satisfaction on bridge employment. A self-administered questionnaire was used in this study and a total of 523 samples were collected for nine major district in Sabah. Data were analysed using Partial Least Square (PLS) method wersion 2.0. The result shows a significant relationship between retirement planning and job satisfaction on bridge employment, explaining 4.7% the variance in bridge employment and job satisfaction was found to be the strongest predictor of bridge employment.

Keywords: ageing population, retirement planning, job satisfaction, bridge employment

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9 Statistical Analysis for Overdispersed Medical Count Data

Authors: Y. N. Phang, E. F. Loh

Abstract:

Many researchers have suggested the use of zero inflated Poisson (ZIP) and zero inflated negative binomial (ZINB) models in modeling over-dispersed medical count data with extra variations caused by extra zeros and unobserved heterogeneity. The studies indicate that ZIP and ZINB always provide better fit than using the normal Poisson and negative binomial models in modeling over-dispersed medical count data. In this study, we proposed the use of Zero Inflated Inverse Trinomial (ZIIT), Zero Inflated Poisson Inverse Gaussian (ZIPIG) and zero inflated strict arcsine models in modeling over-dispersed medical count data. These proposed models are not widely used by many researchers especially in the medical field. The results show that these three suggested models can serve as alternative models in modeling over-dispersed medical count data. This is supported by the application of these suggested models to a real life medical data set. Inverse trinomial, Poisson inverse Gaussian, and strict arcsine are discrete distributions with cubic variance function of mean. Therefore, ZIIT, ZIPIG and ZISA are able to accommodate data with excess zeros and very heavy tailed. They are recommended to be used in modeling over-dispersed medical count data when ZIP and ZINB are inadequate.

Keywords: zero inflated, inverse trinomial distribution, Poisson inverse Gaussian distribution, strict arcsine distribution, Pearson’s goodness of fit

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8 Optimizing of the Micro EDM Parameters in Drilling of Titanium Ti-6Al-4V Alloy for Higher Machining Accuracy-Fuzzy Modelling

Authors: Ahmed A. D. Sarhan, Mum Wai Yip, M. Sayuti, Lim Siew Fen

Abstract:

Ti6Al4V alloy is highly used in the automotive and aerospace industry due to its good machining characteristics. Micro EDM drilling is commonly used to drill micro hole on extremely hard material with very high depth to diameter ratio. In this study, the parameters of micro-electrical discharge machining (EDM) in drilling of Ti6Al4V alloy is optimized for higher machining accuracy with less hole-dilation and hole taper ratio. The micro-EDM machining parameters includes, peak current and pulse on time. Fuzzy analysis was developed to evaluate the machining accuracy. The analysis shows that hole-dilation and hole-taper ratio are increased with the increasing of peak current and pulse on time. However, the surface quality deteriorates as the peak current and pulse on time increase. The combination that gives the optimum result for hole dilation is medium peak current and short pulse on time. Meanwhile, the optimum result for hole taper ratio is low peak current and short pulse on time.

Keywords: Micro EDM, Ti-6Al-4V alloy, fuzzy logic based analysis, optimization, machining accuracy

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7 Student Engagement and Perceived Academic Stress: Open Distance Learning in Malaysia

Authors: Ng Siew Keow, Cheah Seeh Lee

Abstract:

Students’ strong engagement in learning increases their motivation and satisfaction to learn, be resilient to combat academic stress. Engagement in learning is even crucial in the open distance learning (ODL) setting, where the adult students are learning remotely, lessons and learning materials are mostly delivered via online platforms. This study aimed to explore the relationship between learning engagement and perceived academic stress levels of adult students who enrolled in ODL learning mode. In this descriptive correlation study during the 2021-2022 academic years, 101 adult students from Wawasan Open University, Malaysia (WOU) were recruited through convenient sampling. The adult students’ online learning engagement levels and perceived academic stress levels were identified through the self-report Online Student Engagement Scale (OSE) and the Perception of Academic Stress Scale (PASS). The Pearson correlation coefficient test revealed a significant positive relationship between online student engagement and perceived academic stress (r= 0.316, p<0.01). The higher scores on PASS indicated lower levels of perceived academic stress. The findings of the study supported the assumption of the importance of engagement in learning in promoting psychological well-being as well as sustainability in online learning in the open distance learning context.

Keywords: student engagement, academic stress, open distance learning, online learning

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6 Assessment of the Number of Damaged Buildings from a Flood Event Using Remote Sensing Technique

Authors: Jaturong Som-ard

Abstract:

The heavy rainfall from 3rd to 22th January 2017 had swamped much area of Ranot district in southern Thailand. Due to heavy rainfall, the district was flooded which had a lot of effects on economy and social loss. The major objective of this study is to detect flooding extent using Sentinel-1A data and identify a number of damaged buildings over there. The data were collected in two stages as pre-flooding and during flood event. Calibration, speckle filtering, geometric correction, and histogram thresholding were performed with the data, based on intensity spectral values to classify thematic maps. The maps were used to identify flooding extent using change detection, along with the buildings digitized and collected on JOSM desktop. The numbers of damaged buildings were counted within the flooding extent with respect to building data. The total flooded areas were observed as 181.45 sq.km. These areas were mostly occurred at Ban khao, Ranot, Takhria, and Phang Yang sub-districts, respectively. The Ban khao sub-district had more occurrence than the others because this area is located at lower altitude and close to Thale Noi and Thale Luang lakes than others. The numbers of damaged buildings were high in Khlong Daen (726 features), Tha Bon (645 features), and Ranot sub-district (604 features), respectively. The final flood extent map might be very useful for the plan, prevention and management of flood occurrence area. The map of building damage can be used for the quick response, recovery and mitigation to the affected areas for different concern organization.

Keywords: flooding extent, Sentinel-1A data, JOSM desktop, damaged buildings

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5 Contribution of Automated Early Warning Score Usage to Patient Safety

Authors: Phang Moon Leng

Abstract:

Automated Early Warning Scores is a newly developed clinical decision tool that is used to streamline and improve the process of obtaining a patient’s vital signs so a clinical decision can be made at an earlier stage to prevent the patient from further deterioration. This technology provides immediate update on the score and clinical decision to be taken based on the outcome. This paper aims to study the use of an automated early warning score system on whether the technology has assisted the hospital in early detection and escalation of clinical condition and improve patient outcome. The hospital adopted the Modified Early Warning Scores (MEWS) Scoring System and MEWS Clinical Response into Philips IntelliVue Guardian Automated Early Warning Score equipment and studied whether the process has been leaned, whether the use of technology improved the usage & experience of the nurses, and whether the technology has improved patient care and outcome. It was found the steps required to obtain vital signs has been significantly reduced and is used more frequently to obtain patient vital signs. The number of deaths, and length of stay has significantly decreased as clinical decisions can be made and escalated more quickly with the Automated EWS. The automated early warning score equipment has helped improve work efficiency by removing the need for documenting into patient’s EMR. The technology streamlines clinical decision-making and allows faster care and intervention to be carried out and improves overall patient outcome which translates to better care for patient.

Keywords: automated early warning score, clinical quality and safety, patient safety, medical technology

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4 Quantitative Analysis of Orphan Nuclear Receptors in Insulin Resistant C2C12 Skeletal Muscle Cells

Authors: Masocorro Gawned, Stephen Myers, Guat Siew Chew

Abstract:

Nuclear Receptors (NR) are a super family of transcription factors that play a major role in lipid and glucose metabolism in skeletal muscle. Recently, pharmacological evidence supports the view that stimulation of nuclear receptors alleviates Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). The orphan nuclear receptors (ONR) are members of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily whose ligands and physiological functions remain unknown. To date, no systematic studies have been carried out to screen for ONRs expressed in insulin resistant (IR) skeletal muscle cells. Therefore, in this study, we have established a model for IR by treating C2C12 skeletal muscle cells with insulin (10nM) for 48 hours. Western Blot analysis of phosphorylated AKT confirmed IR. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) results highlighted key ONRs including NUR77 (NR4A1), NURR1 (NR4A2) and NOR1 (NR4A3) which have been associated with fatty acid oxidation regulation and glucose homeostasis. Increased mRNA expression levels of estrogen-related receptors (ERRs), REV-ERBα, NUR77, NURR1, NOR1, in insulin resistant C2C12 skeletal muscle cells, indicated that these ONRs could potentially play a pivotal regulatory role of insulin secretion in lipid metabolism. Taken together, this study has successfully contributed to the complete analysis of ONR in IR, and has filled in an important void in the study and treatment of T2D.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes, orphan nuclear receptors, transcription receptors, quantitative mRNA expression

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3 The Effect of Malaysia’s Outward FDI on Manufacturing Exports

Authors: Teo Yen Nee, Tham Siew Yean, Andrew Kam Jia Yi

Abstract:

There are growing concerns about the effect of increasing outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from Malaysia. These concerns emerged when OFDI surpassed inward FDI for the first time in 2007 and in the subsequent years as well. From a theoretical point of view, the effect of OFDI on exports remains inconclusive depending on the types and/or motivations of investment. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of Malaysia’s OFDI on manufacturing exports, using a reduced form exports model. The manufacturing data used in this study covered 24 manufacturing industries for the period 2003-2010. The manufacturing sector is the fourth largest sector invested by Malaysia’s OFDI abroad. However, this sector is chosen for this study because total manufacturing trade contributed significantly to Malaysia’s economy growth as reflected by its significant share in the country’s gross domestic product (138.7%) in 2013. Furthermore, Malaysia’s exports are dominated by manufacturing goods. Consequently, the drastic increase in OFDI added concerns about its impact on the country’s exports. Since OFDI activities are still relatively new in Malaysia, this study is exploratory in nature due to a lack of firm level data. Using industry level panel data, the value added of this paper is to meet the research gap by examining the effect of Malaysia’s outward FDI on manufacturing exports. Overall, the findings show that lagged inward FDI, technology development, and industry size are found to positive and significantly influence manufacturing exports as compared to other factors. The insignificant impact of OFDI on manufacturing exports suggests market seeking investment is the main form of OFDI from Malaysia and the destination markets are not served by exports before so that there are no new exports created or displacement of exports. While the results show that there is no need to worry about OFDI’s negative impact on exports, policies should be undertaken to encourage OFDI from Malaysia to create new exports for the country.

Keywords: OFDI, manufacturing industries, exports, Malaysia

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2 Allergenic Potential of Airborne Algae Isolated from Malaysia

Authors: Chu Wan-Loy, Kok Yih-Yih, Choong Siew-Ling

Abstract:

The human health risks due to poor air quality caused by a wide array of microorganisms have attracted much interest. Airborne algae have been reported as early as 19th century and they can be found in the air of tropic and warm atmospheres. Airborne algae normally originate from water surfaces, soil, trees, buildings and rock surfaces. It is estimated that at least 2880 algal cells are inhaled per day by human. However, there are relatively little data published on airborne algae and its related adverse health effects except sporadic reports of algae associated clinical allergenicity. A collection of airborne algae cultures has been established following a recent survey on the occurrence of airborne algae in indoor and outdoor environments in Kuala Lumpur. The aim of this study was to investigate the allergenic potential of the isolated airborne green and blue-green algae, namely Scenedesmus sp., Cylindrospermum sp. and Hapalosiphon sp.. The suspensions of freeze-dried airborne algae were adminstered into balb-c mice model through intra-nasal route to determine their allergenic potential. Results showed that Scenedesmus sp. (1 mg/mL) increased the systemic Ig E levels in mice by 3-8 fold compared to pre-treatment. On the other hand, Cylindrospermum sp. and Hapalosiphon sp. at similar concentration caused the Ig E to increase by 2-4 fold. The potential of airborne algae causing Ig E mediated type 1 hypersensitivity was elucidated using other immunological markers such as cytokine interleukin (IL)- 4, 5, 6 and interferon-ɣ. When we compared the amount of interleukins in mouse serum between day 0 and day 53 (day of sacrifice), Hapalosiphon sp. (1mg/mL) increased the expression of IL4 and 6 by 8 fold while the Cylindrospermum sp. (1mg/mL) increased the expression of IL4 and IFɣ by 8 and 2 fold respectively. In conclusion, repeated exposure to the three selected airborne algae may stimulate the immune response and generate Ig E in a mouse model.

Keywords: airborne algae, respiratory, allergenic, immune response, Malaysia

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1 A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Intervention Programme for Excessive Internet Use among Young Adults

Authors: Ke Guek Nee, Wong Siew Fan, Nigel V. Marsh

Abstract:

Excessive use of the Internet has become a cause for concern in many countries, including Malaysia. Such behaviour is reported to be more prevalent amongst young adults who are reported to be spending large amount of time on the Internet. The present study has three objectives. First one is designing a manual-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) programme to reduce problematic Internet use among young adults in Malaysia. Second one is examining the effectiveness of a manual-based CBT programme at the pilot study stage. Thirdly, the programme focuses on reducing the level of stress and anxiety in problematic Internet users. We adopted CBT with single subject experimental design method. A total of six participants completed the entire program. They were asked to report their daily Internet use and software was installed on their devices to record actual use. The data collection involved three time frame measurements: T1 (baseline), T2 (immediately during the last session of the intervention sessions), and T3 (follow-up). Three scales were used to measure the effectiveness of the program: Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scales (DASS), Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS), and Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ). The results revealed that the intervention programme has significantly improved two dimensions of problematic Internet use which were obsession and control disorder. The participants’ mental health also showed a deduction in means scores for depression, anxiety and stress with depression showing the greatest improvement after the intervention programme. The participants’ social anxiety showed a slight deduction in means scores. We concluded that the intervention programme designed was effective. However, its limitations need to be addressed in future research.

Keywords: excessive internet use, cognitive behavioral thearapy (CBT), psychological well-being, young adults

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