J Family Med Prim Care. 2018 Jul-Aug;7(4):721-727. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_266_17.
Internet addiction (IA) is an emerging phenomenon among the youth of India. It has been found to be associated with mental health problems. This study was therefore conducted to find out the burden of IA among college students in Delhi, its risk factors and association with depression, anxiety, and stress.
A cross-sectional study was conducted, with face-to-face interviews, among the nonprofessional college students of the University of Delhi. Simple random sampling was used to select the students from the list obtained from the three colleges. Young’s IA test scale and depression, anxiety, and stress short scale were used to measure IA and the mental health correlates, respectively. Chi-square tests were applied for testing the association of IA with the sociodemographic variables, the variables related to internet usage patterns, and the mental health variables. Independent predictors were determined using logistic regression modeling.
The prevalence of IA was 25.3%. The mean (standard deviation) age of the participants was 19.1 (1.02) years and 62.1% were males. The median family income was INR 50,000. IA was significantly associated with higher family income, greater screen time, always online status, and greater duration of internet use per week. The independent predictors of IA were greater duration of internet use per week and always online status, depression, anxiety, and stress.
The burden of IA among the college students was high. depression, anxiety, and stress were found to be independent predictors of IA.
KEYWORDS: Addictive behavior; anxiety; depression; internet; stress disorders; students