Survey of the effects of internet usage on the happiness of Japanese university students (2019)

Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2019 Oct 11;17(1):151. doi: 10.1186/s12955-019-1227-5.

Kitazawa M1, Yoshimura M1,2, Hitokoto H3, Sato-Fujimoto Y4, Murata M5, Negishi K6, Mimura M1, Tsubota K6, Kishimoto T7.



Besides research on psychiatric diseases related to problematic Internet use (PIU), a growing number of studies focus on the impact of Internet on subjective well-being (SWB). However, in previous studies on the relationship between PIU and SWB, there is little data for Japanese people specifically, and there is a lack of consideration for differences in perception of happiness due to cultural differences. Therefore, we aimed to clarify how happiness is interdependent on PIU measures, with a focus on how the concept of happiness is interpreted among Japanese people, and specifically among Japanese university students.


A paper-based survey was conducted with 1258 Japanese university students. Respondents were asked to fill out self-report scales regarding their happiness using the Interdependent Happiness Scale (IHS). The relationship between IHS and Internet use (Japanese version of the Internet addiction test, JIAT), use of social networking services, as well as social function and sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, PSQI) were sought using multiple regression analyses.


Based on multiple regression analyses, the following factors related positively to IHS: female gender and the number of Twitter followers. Conversely, the following factors related negatively to IHS: poor sleep, high- PIU, and the number of times the subject skipped a whole day of school.


It was shown that there was a significant negative correlation between Japanese youths’ happiness and PIU. Since epidemiological research on happiness that reflects the cultural background is still scarce, we believe future studies shall accumulate similar evidence in this regard.


Happiness; Internet dependence; School performance; Sleep; Social networking service; Well-being; Young adults

PMID 31604455

PMCID: PMC6787969

DOI: 10.1186/s12955-019-1227-5

Free PMC Article