Internet addiction: Associated with lower health-related quality of life among college students in Taiwan, and in what aspects? (2018)

Chern, Kae-Chyang, and Jiun-Hau Huang.

Computers in Human Behavior 84 (2018): 460-466.


• Internet addiction was negatively related to every aspect of health-related quality of life in college students.

• Various Internet addiction manifestations were differentially related to different domains of quality of life.

• Internet addiction should be tackled together with depression for synergistic harmful effects.


Internet use has been integrated into college students’ daily lives for learning and social purposes. However, little is known about whether those with Internet addiction (IA) had lower health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in physical, psychological, social, and environment domains. Survey data from 1452 college students in Taiwan were collected using proportional stratified sampling (response rate = 84.2%). IA, including 5 IA manifestations, and HRQOL were assessed by Chen Internet Addiction Scale and World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) Taiwan version, respectively. College students with IA reported significantly lower HRQOL in all 4 domains (B = −0.130, −0.147, −0.103, and −0.085, respectively). Furthermore, 3 IA manifestations, namely compulsivity (B = −0.096), interpersonal and health problems (B = −0.100), and time management problems (B = −0.083), were significantly associated with lower physical HRQOL; compulsivity was also associated with decreased psychological (B = −0.166) and environment (B = −0.088) HRQOL; lastly, interpersonal and health problems owing to Internet use was associated with lower social HRQOL (B = −0.163). These findings warrant further research into the mechanisms through which IA relates to HRQOL in youths. Multi-faceted tailored interventions are needed to target early IA manifestations, thereby preventing IA and associated health consequences.