Difference in mental state between Internet-addicted and non-addicted Japanese undergraduates (2014)

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2014 Nov 21. pii: /j/ijamh.ahead-of-print/ijamh-2014-0030/ijamh-2014-0030.xml. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2014-0030.

Hirao K.


Background: Internet addiction (IA) is a common disorder among adolescents throughout most of the industrialized world. The purpose of this study was to compare mental states between Japanese undergraduates with IA and those without IA. Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, 165 healthy participants were assessed for IA using the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), for the frequency and quality of flow experiences in daily life using the Flow Experience Checklist (FEC), and for depressive symptoms using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS).

Results: The results showed that the prevalence of IA in the participants of this study was 15% and the frequencies of flow experience and depressive symptoms were significantly higher in the IA group.

Conclusions: The results indicate that IA affects a significant number of Japanese university students and is associated with higher rates of depressive symptoms, suggesting a need for intervention programs as part of student mental health services.