Exploring the association of ego defense mechanisms with problematic internet use in a Pakistani medical school (2016)

Psychiatry Res. 2016 Jul 11;243:463-468. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.07.021.

Waqas A1, Rehman A2, Malik A1, Aftab R1, Allah Yar A3, Allah Yar A3, Rai AB4.


The present study was designed to analyze association between problematic internet use and use of ego defense mechanisms in medical students. This cross-sectional study was undertaken at CMH Lahore Medical College (CMH LMC) in Lahore, Pakistan from 1st March, 2015 to 30th May, 2015. 522 medical and dental students were included in the study. The questionnaire consisted of three sections: a) demographic characteristics of respondent b) the Defense Style Questionnaire-40 (DSQ-40) and c) the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). All data were analyzed in SPSS v20. Chi square, Independent sample t test and One Way ANOVA were run to analyze association of different variables with scores on IAT. Multiple regression analysis was used to delineate ego defenses as predictors of problematic internet use. A total of 32 (6.1%) students reported severe problems with internet usage. Males had higher scores on IAT i.e had more problematic use of internet. Scores on internet addiction test (IAT) were negatively associated with sublimation and positively associated with projection, denial, autistic fantasy, passive aggression and displacement. There was a high prevalence of problematic use of internet among medical and dental students. It had significant associations with several defense mechanisms.

KEYWORDS: Internet addiction; Internet addiction disorder; Internet addiction test; Medical students; Psychodynamics

PMID: 27504797

DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.07.021