Relationships between Internet addiction and clinicodemographic and behavioral factors (2019)

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2019 Mar 26;15:739-752. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S193357.

ElSalhy M1,2, Miyazaki T1, Noda Y1, Nakajima S1, Nakayama H2, Mihara S2, Kitayuguchi T2, Higuchi S2, Muramatsu T1,2, Mimura M1.


Backgrounds and aims:

While the Internet became an indispensable component of our contemporary life, public and academic attention is also gathered to its negative impact, namely Internet addiction (IA). Although clinicodemographic and behavioral factors are hypothetically implicated in the mechanism of IA, it still remains largely unknown how such factors are linked to IA severity. Thus, this study sought to examine relationships among IA severity and factors potentially associated with IA in Japanese students in different educational stages.


We conducted a questionnaire-based survey, which included questions about types of online activities and clinicodemographic information, the IA test for IA severity, and the K6 scale for psychological distress in 3,224 students at elementary, junior, and senior high schools, and universities. A multiple regression analysis was performed to predict IA severity with clinicodemographic and behavioral factors.


IA severity was significantly positively related to the following factors: e-messaging, social networking services (SNS), games, holiday Internet usage, and K6 scores, while IA severity had negative correlation with using Internet for educational purposes, age of first exposure to the Internet, and sleep duration. Age was not related to IA severity among participants using both SNS and e-messaging.


IA was linked to various online activities and the degree of psychological distress. This indicates the importance of comprehensive assessment of online behavior and psychological factors for further understanding of IA.

KEYWORDS: Internet addiction; Internet gaming disorder; depression; psychological distress; students

PMID: 30988618

PMCID: PMC6440534

DOI: 10.2147/NDT.S193357

Free PMC Article