Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Mar 14;13(3). pii: E313. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13030313.
The primary aim of this study was to examine associations between problematic Internet use, depression and sleep disturbance, and explore whether there were differential effects of problematic Internet use and depression on sleep disturbance. A total of 1772 adolescents who participated in the Shantou Adolescent Mental Health Survey were recruited in 2012 in Shantou, China. The Chinese version of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) was used to evaluate the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction. The Chinese version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD-10), and other socio-demographic measures were also completed. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the mediating effect of problematic Internet use and depression on sleep disturbance. Among the participants, 17.2% of adolescents met the criteria for problematic Internet use, 40.0% were also classified as suffering from sleep disturbance, and 54.4% of students had depressive symptoms. Problematic Internet use was significantly associated with depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance. The correlation between depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance was highly significant. Both problematic Internet use (β = 0.014; Sobel test Z = 12.7, p < 0.001) and depression (β = 0.232; Sobel test Z = 3.39, p < 0.001) had partially mediating effects on sleep disturbance and depression was of greater importance for sleep disturbance than problematic Internet use. There is a high prevalence of problematic Internet use, depression and sleep disturbance among high school students in southern China, and problematic Internet use and depressive symptoms are strongly associated with sleep disturbance. This study provides evidence that problematic Internet use and depression have partially mediating effects on sleep disturbance. These results are important for clinicians and policy makers with useful information for prevention and intervention efforts.
adolescents; depression; problematic Internet use; sleep disturbance