Internet use and pathological internet engagement in a sample of college students (2011)

Psychiatrike. 2011 Jul-Sep;22(3):221-30.

[Article in Greek, Modern]

Tsouvelas G, Giotakos O.


Psychiatric Department, 414 Army Hospital, Athens.


Recent studies indicate multiple consequences of pathologically excessive internet use. This study investigated the correlate of internet usage, with pathological internet engagement. Participants were 514 college students from the University of Athens who completed a questionnaire covering various aspects of internet use, Young’s Internet Addiction Test, scales investigating online gambling addiction and cybersexual addiction and scales investigating suicidal ideation and the use of psychoactive substances. We found that the daily Internet use (b=0,38, t=10,38, p<0,001), the use of interactive online games (b=0,21, t=5,15, p<0,001), making acquaintances on the internet (b=0,20, t=5,11, p<0,001) and the participation in online forums (b=0,15, t=3,64, p<0,001) account for 42% of the variance of pathological internet engagement.

Subjects at risk for developing pathological internet engagement had significantly higher levels of online gambling addiction, cybersexual addiction, suicidal ideation and alcohol abuse, compared with other groups. Pathological internet engagement, particularly in young people, is a new psychopathological parameter that should be incorporated in the diagnostic and therapeutic horizon of mental health professionals.