The relationship between Internet Use Disorder, depression and burnout among Chinese and German college students (2018)

Addict Behav. 2018 Aug 27;89:188-199. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.08.011.

Peterka-Bonetta J1, Sindermann C2, Sha P3, Zhou M4, Montag C5.


In the present study, we investigated the relationship between depression and Internet Use Disorder (IUD) and between burnout and IUD among German as well as Chinese college students. Due to cultural differences and their implications for the individual’s psychological health, we expected Chinese college students to have in particular higher IUD than German college students. We further expected to find positive relationships between depression and IUD and between burnout and IUD. Furthermore, we believed these relationships to reflect global effects and thus to be present in both samples. The data showed that Chinese college students had higher average burnout scores in the subscales MBI Emotional Exhaustion and MBI Cynicism and also higher IUD scores, but not higher depression scores. As expected, the correlation analysis revealed significant, positive correlations between depression and IUD as well as between burnout and IUD. The results are consistent in both samples, implying that the effect is globally valid. Furthermore, we observed that the relationship between depression and IUD is stronger than the relationship between emotional exhaustion and IUD in both samples, although this effect was not significant. We conclude that burnout and depression are related to IUD and that this relationship is valid independently of the cultural background of an individual.

KEYWORDS: Burnout; China; Depression; Germany; Internet Use Disorder; Internet addiction

PMID: 30321691

DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.08.011