(CAUSATION) Bidirectional relationships of psychiatric symptoms with internet addiction in college students: A prospective study (2019)

J Formos Med Assoc. 2019 Oct 22. pii: S0929-6646(19)30007-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2019.10.006.

Lin YJ1, Hsiao RC2, Liu TL3, Yen CF4.



This prospective study evaluated the predictive ability of psychiatric symptoms at initial consultation for the occurrence and remission of Internet addiction during a 1-year follow-up period among college students. Furthermore, it evaluated the predictive ability of changes in psychiatric symptoms for Internet addiction at the initial consultation during the 1-year follow-up period among college students.


Five hundred college students (262 women and 238 men) were recruited. The baseline and follow-up consultations measured the levels of Internet addiction and psychiatric symptoms using the Chen Internet Addiction Scale and Symptom Checklist-90 Revised, respectively.


The results indicated that severe interpersonal sensitivity and paranoia symptoms might predict the incidence of Internet addiction at 1-year follow-up. The college students with internet addiction did not have significant improvement in the severities of psychopathology, whereas those without internet addiction had significant improvement in obsession-compulsion, interpersonal sensitivity, paranoid and psychoticism during the same period.


Psychiatric symptoms and Internet addiction exhibited bidirectional relationships in college students during the 1-year follow-up period.

KEYWORDS: College student; Internet addiction; Psychiatric symptoms

PMID: 31653577

DOI: 10.1016/j.jfma.2019.10.006