In a recent study, Bozoglan and colleagues (2013) found the three factors: loneliness, self-esteem and life satisfactions to predict internet addiction among 384 university students. One of the primary findings of the study is that loneliness contributes to internet addiction.
However, internet addiction also contributes to loneliness: spending a lot of time on the internet will make one socially isolated, and internet use is therefore hindering other alternative (social) activities.
Life satisfaction and internet addiction is probably mutually related in that being satisfied with life decreases internet usage, and using the internet decreases life satisfaction by increasing loneliness and worsen self-esteem.
Furthermore, life satisfaction, loneliness, and self-esteem were found to be negatively related to interpersonal and health problems. Having a low self-esteem was also considered to be a predictor for the time spent on the internet. Low self-esteem will make you less likely to engage in social behaviours.
In a cognitive-behavioural sense, the anxiety for failure is being avoided by using the (safe) internet as a replacement for social companionship. Ultimately, this behaviour will lead to a maintenance of low self-esteem and life satisfaction.