Effect of social support on depression of internet addicts and the mediating role of loneliness (2014)

Int J Ment Health Syst. 2014 Aug 16;8:34. doi: 10.1186/1752-4458-8-34. eCollection 2014.

He F1, Zhou Q2, Li J1, Cao R1, Guan H2.



Many studies have determined the existence of an extremely close association between Internet addiction and depression. However, the reasons for the depression of Internet addicts have not been fully investigated.


This cross-sectional study aims to explore the factors that influence depression among Internet addicts.


A total of 162 male Internet addicts completed the Emotional and Social Loneliness Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and Self-Rating Depression Scale.


Loneliness and lack of social support are significantly correlated with depression among Internet addicts. Structural Equation Modeling results indicate that social support partially mediates loneliness and depression.


Both social support and loneliness were negatively associated with depression of Internet addicts whereas loneliness plays a mediating role between social support and depression.


Depression; Internet addiction; Loneliness; Social support; Structural equation modeling