Eur J Public Health. 2017 Oct 25. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx141.
Many studies have reported factors associated with internet addiction (IA) but little attention has been paid to contextual influences. The present study examined the association between regional contextual determinants of IA among college students in China.
Participants comprised 6929 college students, who were identified through a multistage survey sampling process conducted in 28 university/colleges in China. Individual data was obtained through a self-administered questionnaire, and regional variables were retrieved from a national database. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to examine individual and regional influences on IA.
The overall IA prevalence was 13.6%. The final multiple level logistic models showed that higher frequent air pollution and PM2.5 level had 4.34 and 1.56 times the likelihood of suffering from IA, respectively; but higher regional per capita area of paved roads had lower likelihood of IA, ORs were from 0.66 to 0.39.
The results of this study add important insights about the role of contextual regional factors, especially air pollution, affecting IA among college students in China, and demonstrates the need to account for environmental influences in addressing IA.