Predictors of problematic Internet use in school going adolescents of Bhavnagar, India (2019)

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2019 Feb 11:20764019827985. doi: 10.1177/0020764019827985.

Vadher SB1, Panchal BN1, Vala AU1, Ratnani IJ1, Vasava KJ1, Desai RS1, Shah AH1.



Problematic Internet use (PIU) is the inability of individuals to control their Internet use, resulting in marked distress and/or functional impairment in daily life.


We assessed the frequency of PIU and predictors of PIU, including social anxiety disorder (SAD), quality of sleep, quality of life and Internet-related demographic variables among school going adolescents.


This was an observational, single-centered, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study of 1,312 school going adolescents studying in Grades 10, 11 and 12 in Bhavnagar, India. Every participant was assessed by a pro forma containing demographic details, questionnaires of Internet Addiction Test (IAT), Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) for PIU severity, SAD severity, Quality of Sleep assessment and Quality of Life assessment, respectively. The statistical analysis was done with SPSS Version 23 (IBM Corporation) using chi-square test, Student’s t test and Pearson’s correlation. Multiple linear regression analysis was applied to find the predictors of PIU.


We found frequency of PIUs as 16.7% and Internet addiction as 3.0% among school going adolescents. Participants with PIU are more likely to experience SAD ( p < .0001), poor quality of sleep ( p < .0001) and poor quality of life ( p < .0001). There is positive correlation between severity of PIU and SAD ( r = .411, p < .0001). Linear regression analysis shows PIU can be predicted by SAD, sleep quality, quality of life, English medium, male gender, total duration of Internet use, monthly cost of Internet use, education, social networking, gaming, online shopping and entertainment as purpose of Internet use.


Participants with PIU are more likely to experience SAD, poor quality of sleep and poor quality of life.

KEYWORDS: Problematic Internet use; quality of life; quality of sleep; social anxiety disorder

PMID: 30744449

DOI: 10.1177/0020764019827985