Internet addiction is associated with social anxiety in young adults (2015)

Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;27(1):4-9.

Weinstein A1, Dorani D, Elhadif R, Bukovza Y, Yarmulnik A, Dannon P.



Problematic Internet use or excessive Internet use is characterized by excessive or poorly controlled preoccupations, urges, or behaviors regarding computer use, and Internet access that leads to impairment or distress. Cross-sectional studies on samples of patients reported high comorbidity of Internet addiction with psychiatric disorders, especially affective disorders (including depression), anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.


We have investigated the association between Internet addiction and social anxiety in 2 samples of 120 university students (60 males and 60 females in each sample).


We found a correlation between Internet addiction and social anxiety in the 2 samples (r = 0.411, P < .001; r = 0.342, P < .01) respectively. Secondly, we found no difference between males and females on the level of Internet addiction. Thirdly, we did not find a preference for social networks among participants with high levels of social anxiety.


The results of the study support previous evidence for co-occurrence of Internet addiction and social anxiety, but further studies need to clarify this association.

  • PMID: 25696775