Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2018 Dec 4. pii: /j/ijamh.ahead-of-print/ijamh-2018-0035/ijamh-2018-0035.xml. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2018-0035.
Introduction Addiction to the Internet and mobile phones in adolescents could be related to loneliness. However, less research has been conducted on this topic in developing countries. This study aimed to examine addiction to the Internet and mobile phones and its relationship with loneliness in adolescents in Iran.
Method This was a cross-sectional and analytic study that was conducted between 2015 and 2016 in Rasht, in the north of Iran. Subjects were selected through cluster sampling from female and male teens who were studying in the public and private schools. The Kimberly’s Internet Addiction Test, Cell phone Overuse Scale (COS), and the University of California , Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale were used for data collection.
Results The mean age of participants was 16.2 ± 1.1 year. The mean of addiction to the Internet was 42.2 ± 18.2. Overall, 46.3% of the subjects reported some degrees of addiction to the Internet. The mean of addiction to mobile phones was 55.10 ± 19.86. The results of this study showed that 77.6% (n = 451) of the subjects were at risk for addiction to mobile phones, and 17.7% (n = 103) of them were addicted to their use. The mean of loneliness was 39.13 ± 11.46 in the adolescents. Overall, 16.9% of the subjects obtained a score higher than mean in loneliness. A statistically significant direct relationship was found between addiction to the Internet and loneliness in the adolescents (r = 0.199, p = 0.0001). The results also showed a statistically significant direct relationship between addiction to mobile phones and loneliness in the adolescents (r = 0.172, p = 0.0001).
Conclusion The results of this study revealed that a high percentage of adolescents who have some degrees of addiction to the Internet and mobile phones experience loneliness, and there are relationships between these variables.
KEYWORDS: addiction to the Internet; adolescent; loneliness; mobile phones