Addiction to Internet Use, Online Gaming, and Online Social Networking Among Young Adults in China, Singapore, and the United States (2017)

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2017 Nov;29(8):673-682. doi: 10.1177/1010539517739558. Epub 2017 Nov 30.

Tang CS1, Koh YW1, Gan Y2.


The current study investigated the rates of addictions to Internet use, online gaming, and online social networking as well as their associations with depressive symptoms among young adults in China, Singapore, and the United States. A total of 3267 undergraduate students were recruited. Psychological instruments were used to assess various Internet-related addictions and depressive symptoms. Male students were more addicted to Internet and online gaming whereas female students were more addicted to online social networking. Compared with students in the United States, Chinese and Singaporean students were more addicted to Internet use and online social networking but less to online gaming. The odds of depression among students with addiction to various Internet-related addictions were highest in China. Internet-related addiction is a new public health concern of young adults, especially in the Asia-Pacific regions. It is found to associate with depressive symptoms. Strategies should address this phenomenon with attention to specific needs of gender and region while managing mood disturbances.

KEYWORDS: Internet-related addictions; college students; countries comparison; depressive symptoms; prevalence

PMID: 29191049

DOI: 10.1177/1010539517739558