Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2018 Apr 13. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12662.
Research on the adverse effects of internet use has gained importance recently. However, there is currently insufficient data on Japanese young adults’ internet use, so we conducted a survey targeting Japanese university students to research Problematic Internet Use (PIU). We also investigated the relationship between PIU and multiple psychiatric symptoms.
A paper-based survey was conducted at five universities in Japan. Respondents were asked to fill out self-report scales regarding their internet dependency using the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). Sleep quality, ADHD tendency, depression, and anxiety symptom data were also collected based on respective self-reports.
There were 1336 responses and 1258 were included in the analysis. The mean IAT score (mean±SD) was 37.87±12.59. 38.2% of participants were classified as PIU, and 61.8% as non-PIU. The trend level for females showed that they were more likely to be classified as PIU than males (40.6%, 35.2% respectively, p=0.05). Compared to the non-PIU group, the PIU group used the internet longer (p<0.001), had significantly lower sleep quality (p<0.001), had stronger ADHD tendencies (p<0.001), had higher depression scores (p<0.001), and had trait-anxiety (p<0.001). Based on multiple logistic regression analyses, the factors that contributed to an increased risk of PIU were: being female (OR=1.52), being older (OR=1.17), having poor sleep quality (OR=1.52), having ADHD tendencies (OR=2.70), having depression (OR=2.24), and anxiety tendencies (OR=1.43).
We found a high PIU prevalence among Japanese young adults. The factors that predicted PIU were: female gender, older age, poor sleep quality, ADHD tendencies, depression, and anxiety.
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KEYWORDS: ADHD; Anxiety; Depression; Problematic internet use; Sleep disorder