Topic Editors

Dr. Gergely Fehér
Department of Primary Health Care, Medical School, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
Dr. Gergely Darnai
University of Pécs Medical School, 7602 Pécs, Hungary

Internet Addiction

Abstract submission deadline
closed (30 June 2021)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 August 2021)
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Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

The extensive availability of the Internet has led to the recognition of problematic internet use (so-called internet addiction, IA). Problematic internet use is usually defined as a problematic, compulsive use of the internet, resulting in significant impairment in an individual's function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. The disorder is increasingly prevalent; about 5% of the adolescent population are supposed to be sufferers. The difficulty of recognition is that internet-based technology has improved many aspects of our lives and it is now an essential part of our everyday routine, including work, private life and social functioning, therefore many individuals are not aware of the misuse or problematic use.

Problematic internet use seems to be associated with medical conditions such as anxiety, depression, drug abuse and malnutrition; furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated a possible association of burnout and internet addiction, as they are considered to be serious mental health problems based on symptomatology that is related to chronic stress, and are mostly conjoined among adolescents. Several MRI studies suggest the breakdown of functional brain networks, especially the involvement of the prefrontal cortex, which may play a role in the behavioral and mental consequences of addiction. However, these and other relationships between digital media use and mental health have been under considerable research, and have generated controversy, debate and quarreling among expert researchers, healthcare and non-healthcare professionals, due to insufficient data, poor quality research and a lack of randomized studies.

The aim of our Special Topic is to focus on the complex background of internet addiction (for example, prevalence, demographic data, burnout, depression, sleep disturbance and quality of life, etc.) in different populations (for example adolescents, eSport users, adults, etc.), including fMRI studies. Original research, meta-analysis, and review articles related to this Special Topic are welcome, from preclinical research to multidisciplinary clinical management.

Potential themes relevant to this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Prevalence of internet addiction
  2. Risk factors of internet addiction
  3. Burnout and internet addiction
  4. Brain networks in internet addiction
  5. Internet addiction and quality of life
  6. Mental and physical consequences of internet addiction
  7. Co-incidence of internet and other addictions
  8. Therapy of internet addiction

Dr. Gergely Fehér
Dr. Gergely Darnai
Topic Editors

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Life
life
3.817 2.6 2011 15.7 Days 1800 CHF
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
3.390 3.4 2004 21.4 Days 2500 CHF
Psych
psych
- - 2019 21.7 Days 1200 CHF
Brain Sciences
brainsci
3.394 3.0 2011 19.9 Days 2000 CHF

Published Papers (23 papers)

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Article
Prevalence and Risk Factors of Problematic Internet Use among Hungarian Adult Recreational Esports Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063204 - 09 Mar 2022
Abstract
Background: Esports are highly prevalent in modern culture, particularly among young people, and are a healthy hobby for the majority of users. However, there is a possible link between video gaming (including esports) and problematic internet use (so-called internet addiction, IA), mostly involving [...] Read more.
Background: Esports are highly prevalent in modern culture, particularly among young people, and are a healthy hobby for the majority of users. However, there is a possible link between video gaming (including esports) and problematic internet use (so-called internet addiction, IA), mostly involving adolescents. Methods: Here we present an online survey focusing on the prevalence and risk factors of internet addiction among adult esports players. Demographics included age, gender, family type, type of work, working years and daily internet use. Medical conditions associated with IA such as smoking, alcohol and drug intake, hypertension, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, musculoskeletal pain and history of depression were also recorded. Results: Overall, 2313 players including 176 females (7.6%) and 2137 males (92.4%) participated in our online survey. Age distribution was the following: 18–25 years 90.3% (2088/2313), 26–35 years 7.95% (184/2313), 36–45 years 0.86% (20/2313), 46–55 years 0.82% (19/2313), 56–62 years 0.04% (1/2313) and 62 years or older 0.04% (1/2313). Internet addiction was detected in 19.9% of players (461/2313) based on the Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire. In a multivariate analysis internet addiction was significantly associated with age between 18 and 25 (OR: 1.675, p = 0.002), being single (OR = 1.505, p = 0.014), internet use > 6 h daily (OR = 4.338, p < 0.001), having < 3 children (OR: 2.037, p = 0.023) and having secondary employment (OR = 1.789, p = 0.037). Regular alcohol intake (OR = 18.357, p < 0.001) and history of depression (OR= 5.361, p = 0.032) were also strongly correlated with IA. Conclusion: This is the first study from Hungary investigating the prevalence and risk factors of internet addiction among adult esports players. One out of five adult gamers suffered from IA. Our study also draws attention to increased risk within this group and risk factors such as younger age, family status and type of employment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
The Association of Internet Addiction with Burnout, Depression, Insomnia, and Quality of Life among Hungarian High School Teachers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010438 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
The extensive availability of Internet has led to the recognition of problematic Internet use (so called Internet addiction, IA) mostly involving adolescents. There are limited data about the prevalence and consequences of IA in adults especially among high school teachers. Here, we present [...] Read more.
The extensive availability of Internet has led to the recognition of problematic Internet use (so called Internet addiction, IA) mostly involving adolescents. There are limited data about the prevalence and consequences of IA in adults especially among high school teachers. Here, we present a cross-sectional prospective study focusing on the association of Internet addiction with burnout, depression, insomnia, and lower quality of life among high school teachers taking many co-variates into account. Overall, 623 males (34.3%) and 1194 females (65.7%) participated in our study. Internet addiction was detected in 5.2% (95/1817) based on the Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire. Internet addiction was associated with severe burnout (10.5 vs. 2.7%, p < 0.001), moderate (36.8 vs. 1.7%, p < 0.001), and severe (6.3 vs. 0.1%, p < 0.001) depression, insomnia (23.1 vs. 11.4%, p < 0.001), and severe sleep disturbance (severe insomnia, 27.4 vs. 3.8%, p < 0.001) and lower quality of life in all domains (p < 0.001). There was also a significant correlation of the severity of the above-mentioned parameters and the severity of IA (overall scores, p < 0.001 in all cases). In a multivariate analysis including demographic criteria, risk factors medical conditions and the above-mentioned parameters as co-variates internet addiction was significantly associated with depression (OR = 3.836, CI: 2.92–5.44, p = 0.03), and insomnia (OR: 3.932, CI: 3.6–5.69, p = 0.002). This is the first study from Hungary and is one of the first studies showing the association of IA with mental issues, burnout, and lower quality of life among adults. It underlines the clinical importance of problematic Internet use among adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
Mapping Maternal Health in the New Media Environment: A Scientometric Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413095 - 11 Dec 2021
Abstract
Background: The new media provides a convenient platform to access, use and exchange health information. And as a special group of health care, maternal health care is still of international concern due to their high mortality rate. Scientific research is a good way [...] Read more.
Background: The new media provides a convenient platform to access, use and exchange health information. And as a special group of health care, maternal health care is still of international concern due to their high mortality rate. Scientific research is a good way to provide advice on how to improve maternal health through stringent reasoning and accurate data. However, the dramatic increase of publications, the diversity of themes, and the dispersion of researchers may reduce the quality of information and increase the difficulty of selection. Thus, this study aims to analyze the research progress on maternal health under the global new media environment, exploring the current research hotspots and frontiers. Methods: A scientometric analysis was carried out by CiteSpace5.7.R1. In total, 2270 articles have been further analyzed to explore top countries and institutions, potential articles, research frontiers, and hotspots. Results: The publications ascended markedly, from 29 in 2008 to 472 publications by 2020. But there is still a lot of room to grow, and the growth rate does not conform to the Price’s Law. Research centers concentrated in Latin America, such as the University of Toronto and the University of California. The work of Larsson M, Lagan BM and Tiedje L had high potential influence. Most of the research subjects were maternal and newborn babies, and the research frontiers were distributed in health education and psychological problems. Maternal mental health, nutrition, weight, production technology, and equipment were seemingly hotspots. Conclusion: The new media has almost brought a new era for maternal health, mainly characterized by psychological qualities, healthy and reasonable physical conditions and advanced technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
The Longitudinal Relationship between Internet Addiction and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescents: A Random-Intercept Cross-Lagged Panel Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12869; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412869 - 07 Dec 2021
Abstract
Internet addiction and depressive symptoms are extremely common problems among teenagers, and the coping strategy has been proved to be closely related to internet addiction and depressive symptoms. Based on three waves of data from a sample of Chinese middle-school students (N [...] Read more.
Internet addiction and depressive symptoms are extremely common problems among teenagers, and the coping strategy has been proved to be closely related to internet addiction and depressive symptoms. Based on three waves of data from a sample of Chinese middle-school students (N = 1545, Mage = 14.88 years old, SD = 1.81; 55.00% females), this study examines the longitudinal relationship between internet addiction and depressive symptoms among adolescents ultilizing the random-intercept cross-lagged panel model. Results revealed a unidirectional predictive effect of depressive symptoms at T2 on internet addiction at T3, but not vice versa, the effect was more significant in the male group. Positive coping strategies had a significant negative predictive effect on the random intercept of internet addiction and depressive symptoms, while negative coping style had a significant positive predictive effect on the random intercept of internet addiction and depressive symptoms. Effective identification and intervention of depressive symptoms may be beneficial to the intervention and prevention for internet addiction, and we should pay attention to the cultivation of middle school students’ positive coping strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
Internet Use Impact on Physical Health during COVID-19 Lockdown in Bangladesh: A Web-Based Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10728; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010728 - 13 Oct 2021
Abstract
Previous studies on internet use frequency were focused on mental health impact, with little known about the impact on physical health during the COVID-19 lockdown. This study examined the impact of internet use frequency on self-reported physical health during the COVID-19 lockdown in [...] Read more.
Previous studies on internet use frequency were focused on mental health impact, with little known about the impact on physical health during the COVID-19 lockdown. This study examined the impact of internet use frequency on self-reported physical health during the COVID-19 lockdown in Bangladesh. A web-based cross-sectional study on 3242 individuals was conducted from 2 August–1 October 2020. The survey covered demographics, internet use frequency and self-reported physical health questions. Linear regression analyses were used to examine the impact of internet use frequency on physical health. 72.5%, 69.9%, 65.1% and 55.3% respondents reported headache, back pain, numbness of the fingers and neck pain, respectively. The analyses showed increased physical health impact among regular (coefficient β = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.18–0.85, p = 0.003), frequent (β = 1.21, 95% CI: 0.88–1.54, p < 0.001) and intense (β = 2.24, 95% CI: 1.91–2.57, p < 0.001) internet users. Other important predictors were gender, income, occupation, regions, and working status. Frequent and extensive uses of the internet were strong predictors of physical health problems, and our findings suggest the need for increased awareness about the physical health problems that can be triggered by excessive internet usage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
Internet Addiction and Sleep Problems among Russian Adolescents: A Field School-Based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10397; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910397 - 02 Oct 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aims to establish a link between disturbances in the night sleep habitus, quality of sleep, and daytime sleepiness in adolescents with Internet addiction and different types of content consumed. Methods: This is a cross-sectional observational study of a school sample in [...] Read more.
This study aims to establish a link between disturbances in the night sleep habitus, quality of sleep, and daytime sleepiness in adolescents with Internet addiction and different types of content consumed. Methods: This is a cross-sectional observational study of a school sample in three large cities in Central Siberia. 4615 schoolchildren of 12–18 years old were examined. The Russian-language versions of the Chen Internet Addiction Scale, the Game Addiction Scale for Adolescents, and the Social Media Disorder Scale were used to identify Internet addiction. Questions from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index questionnaire were used to assess nighttime sleep. Daytime sleepiness was assessed using the Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale questionnaire. Results: Adolescents with Internet addiction go to bed and wake up late; they are characterized by a decrease in the duration of nighttime sleep, an increase in sleep onset latency, and frequent nighttime awakenings, as well as more pronounced daytime sleepiness. Among the sleep parameters studied, the indicators of daytime sleepiness and night awakening scales have the highest effect size in Internet-addicted adolescents, regardless of the media consumed. Conclusion: Internet-addicted adolescents are characterized by significant disturbances in the quality of nighttime sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness, which requires appropriate psychological correction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
Problematic Internet Use among University Students and Its Relationship with Social Skills
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(10), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11101301 - 30 Sep 2021
Abstract
Internet use has been steadily and unstoppably gaining ground in all areas of life, from recreational activities to the establishment of social relations. However, addictive use of the Internet is a problem that seriously affects some people. Factors that may influence the occurrence [...] Read more.
Internet use has been steadily and unstoppably gaining ground in all areas of life, from recreational activities to the establishment of social relations. However, addictive use of the Internet is a problem that seriously affects some people. Factors that may influence the occurrence of inappropriate internet use include age and social skills. For this reason, the aim of this study is to analyze the influence of social skills and age on the development of problematic internet use in university students. The study involved 514 students enrolled at a university in Spain, who filled in two questionnaires, one on problematic internet use and the other on social skills. Multivariate multiple linear regression models revealed that some social skills variables (conversation and social ease, empathic and positive feeling skills, risk coping) predicted problematic internet use. In addition, age played a role in preference for online social interaction and deficient self-regulation. Younger students were more at risk of having obsessive thoughts related to internet use and of engaging in compulsive internet use compared to older students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
There Are Predictors of Eating Disorders among Internet Use Characteristics—A Cross-Sectional Study on the Relationship between Problematic Internet Use and Eating Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910269 - 29 Sep 2021
Abstract
The aims of this cross-sectional study were: (i) to establish the prevalence of problematic Internet use (PIU) and eating disorders (EDs) among Polish students; (ii) to investigate potential correlations between the two phenomena; and (iii) to identify predictors of eating disorders among socio-demographic [...] Read more.
The aims of this cross-sectional study were: (i) to establish the prevalence of problematic Internet use (PIU) and eating disorders (EDs) among Polish students; (ii) to investigate potential correlations between the two phenomena; and (iii) to identify predictors of eating disorders among socio-demographic and Internet use characteristics in this population. To this end, a total of 1008 Polish students aged 18–40, completed the Problematic Internet Use Test (TPIU22), the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) and a self-designed Socio-demographic and Internet Use Survey. Men received more PIU scores (p < 0.001), while women received more EAT-26 scores (p < 0.05) with a significant correlation observed between those variables (rho = 0.212; p < 0.001). The strongest predictors of EDs were as follows: preoccupation with the Internet, neglect of sleep in favor of Internet use, alleviation of negative feelings while online, higher mean number of hours spent online on weekends for academic and work-related purposes, extracurricular activity, lower height and higher BMI. An association has been demonstrated between problematic internet use and eating disorders. Somewhat surprisingly, our results suggest that people at risk of EDs use the Internet primarily to fulfill their routine duties. Nevertheless, further research is needed to establish the causality of EDs and PIU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
Validation and Psychometric Properties of the Chinese Version of the Fear of Missing Out Scale
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9896; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189896 - 20 Sep 2021
Abstract
Objectives: The present study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of Przybylski’s 10-item Fear of Missing Out scale and to investigate the measurement invariance across age and gender among Chinese adolescents and emerging adults. Methods: A convenient sample of 2886 subjects (Mage [...] Read more.
Objectives: The present study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of Przybylski’s 10-item Fear of Missing Out scale and to investigate the measurement invariance across age and gender among Chinese adolescents and emerging adults. Methods: A convenient sample of 2886 subjects (Mage = 14.79, SD = 4.03; 47.96% male) was recruited in south China. Item analysis, EFA, CFA, testing of measurement invariance across gender and age, reliability analysis, and concurrent validity analysis were conducted. A subsample of 154 subjects (Mage = 15.3, SD = 2.22; 54% male) completed the scale again after 6 months to assess the test–retest reliability. Results: The EFA strongly indicated a two-dimensional solution, including fear of missing novel information and fear of missing social opportunities, for the Chinese version of the FoMO scale, which the CFA confirmed. Adequate internal consistency was found. Concurrent validity and discriminant validity were also demonstrated. Conclusions: Based on the results, the Chinese version of the FoMO scale is suitable for use among young Chinese people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
Association between Urban Upbringing and Compulsive Internet Use in Japan: A Cross-Sectional, Multilevel Study with Retrospective Recall
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9890; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189890 - 20 Sep 2021
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to show the association between urban upbringing and compulsive internet use (CIU). The interview data of the sample (N = 2431) was obtained from the World Mental Health Japan Second Survey and a multilevel model was used [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to show the association between urban upbringing and compulsive internet use (CIU). The interview data of the sample (N = 2431) was obtained from the World Mental Health Japan Second Survey and a multilevel model was used to investigate the association. Multiple imputation was also conducted in this study. Growing up in a large city was significantly associated with higher Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS) scores (γ = 1.65, Standard Error (SE) = 0.45) and Mild CIU + Severe CIU (Exp(γ) = 1.44; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) (1.04–2.00)) compared to growing up in a small municipality after adjusting for both sociodemographic characteristics and psychopathology. This study showed a possible association between urban upbringing and CIU. Future studies with longitudinal design are needed to better understand this association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
Self-Control, Consideration of Future Consequences, and Internet Addiction among Chinese Adolescents: The Moderating Effect of Deviant Peer Affiliation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179026 - 27 Aug 2021
Abstract
Although a large number of studies have indicated that self-control was an important predictive factor for adolescent internet addiction, the moderating and mediating mechanisms underlying this relationship remain unclear. To address this research gap, the present study, according to social learning theory and [...] Read more.
Although a large number of studies have indicated that self-control was an important predictive factor for adolescent internet addiction, the moderating and mediating mechanisms underlying this relationship remain unclear. To address this research gap, the present study, according to social learning theory and the organism–environment interaction theory, tested whether consideration of future consequences mediated the relation between self-control and adolescent internet addiction and whether deviant peer affiliation moderated the relationship between consideration of future consequences and internet addiction. Using longitudinal tracking (two-time points and the interval is 6 months). Three middle schools in Guangzhou were randomly selected. The participants were 1182 students ranging in age from 12 to 15 years (average age: 14.16, SD = 1.29) from three middle schools in Guangzhou (651 boys and 531 girls) in Guangdong Province. Results showed that consideration of future consequences mediated the relationship between self-control and internet addiction. Furthermore, the relationship between future consequence consideration and internet addiction was moderated by deviant peer affiliation. These findings highlighted the potential mediating role of consideration of future consequences in linking self-control to adolescent internet addiction. We also found high deviant peer affiliation weakens the protective effect of future consequence consideration on Internet addiction. This study may provide support for adolescent Internet addiction prevention and have some educational implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
Behaviour of Children and Adolescents and the Use of Mobile Phones in Primary Schools in the Czech Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8352; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168352 - 06 Aug 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Today’s young people spend most of their time in contact with mobile devices. Their excessive use carries many risks, such as addiction, cyberbullying and social disruption. Based on this, this study analysed the mobile phone use of young Czechs between 7 and 17 [...] Read more.
Today’s young people spend most of their time in contact with mobile devices. Their excessive use carries many risks, such as addiction, cyberbullying and social disruption. Based on this, this study analysed the mobile phone use of young Czechs between 7 and 17 years old (n = 27.177) and assessed the differences in their behaviour according to the mobile device use policies of their schools. The results show that the use of mobile phones was linked to the one of the social networks, YouTube and videogames for the most part. Similarly, those young people who had them at school preferred to use them, instead of practicing sports or social activities. On the other hand, in the centres in which the use of mobile phones was prohibited, they felt bored and without activities to do. Therefore, it will be necessary for schools to implement educational policies that encourage activities and areas of social interaction in the school, especially during recess. However, at the same time, it is recommended not to prohibit the use of technological devices in the educational centre, since this fact encourages students to use them secretly and increases their desire to use them. To this end, its use in the classroom is advocated from an educational perspective, thus promoting collaborative learning and increasing student motivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
Requirements of a Group Intervention for Adolescents with Internet Gaming Disorder in a Clinical Setting: A Qualitative Interview Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157813 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has become an important health concern in a significant proportion of adolescents. Intervention studies in this age group are scarce, mostly follow quantitative designs, and rarely consider adolescents’ experiences. This study aimed to evaluate the requirements for a group [...] Read more.
Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has become an important health concern in a significant proportion of adolescents. Intervention studies in this age group are scarce, mostly follow quantitative designs, and rarely consider adolescents’ experiences. This study aimed to evaluate the requirements for a group therapy program for adolescents with IGD. A qualitative interview study was conducted in a German clinic for addictive disorders in childhood and adolescence with nine participants (seven IGD patients (12–18 years, M = 15.86, SD = 1.95) and two psychotherapists). The semi-structured interviews addressed helpful contents, general conditions, and suggestions for alterations for an effective group intervention. Data were analyzed using content structuring qualitative analysis. Patient interview data resulted in 234 codings with eight main categories. Expert interview data yielded 151 codings with six main categories. The following treatment components were described as effective by the participants and experts: psychoeducation, emotion management, behavior analysis and modification, social skills training, parent participation, and relapse prevention. Additionally, adolescents emphasized the importance of group functionality for coherence, feedback and rewards, content presentation, physical activity and fun. The results are a valuable addition to findings from quantitative studies on IGD interventions and an interesting starting point for further representative studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
The Relationship between Family Functioning and Pathological Internet Use among Chinese Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Hope and the Moderating Role of Social Withdrawal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147700 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
This study constructed a moderated mediation model based on problem behavior theory to explore the psychological mechanism of family functioning interaction with pathological internet use. We used the Adolescent Pathological Internet Use Scale, General Functioning Scale, Trait Hope Scale, and Social Withdrawal Scale [...] Read more.
This study constructed a moderated mediation model based on problem behavior theory to explore the psychological mechanism of family functioning interaction with pathological internet use. We used the Adolescent Pathological Internet Use Scale, General Functioning Scale, Trait Hope Scale, and Social Withdrawal Scale to measure internet use in 1223 middle school students. The results showed that (1) pathological internet use was negatively correlated with family functioning and hope, and positively correlated with social withdrawal; family functioning was positively correlated with hope, and negatively correlated with social withdrawal; hope was negatively correlated with social withdrawal; (2) family functioning could not only directly predict pathological internet use, but also indirectly predict pathological internet use through hope; and (3) the mediating effect of family functioning on pathological internet use was moderated by social withdrawal, which was stronger for individuals with low social withdrawal but not significant for individuals with high social withdrawal. This study revealed the internal mechanism of the relation between family functioning and adolescents’ pathological internet use, which has theoretical significance for improving adolescents’ hope and reducing their pathological internet use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Review
How Have Researchers Acknowledged and Controlled for Academic Work Activity When Measuring Medical Students’ Internet Addiction? A Systematic Literature Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7681; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147681 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
Internationally, medical students’ Internet Addiction (IA) is widely studied. As medical students use the Internet extensively for work, we asked how researchers control for work-related Internet activity, and the extent to which this influences interpretations of “addiction” rates. A search of PubMed, CINAHL, [...] Read more.
Internationally, medical students’ Internet Addiction (IA) is widely studied. As medical students use the Internet extensively for work, we asked how researchers control for work-related Internet activity, and the extent to which this influences interpretations of “addiction” rates. A search of PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar was conducted on the search phrase of “medical students” and “internet addiction” in March 2020. In total, 98 studies met our criteria, 88 (90%) used Young’s Internet Addiction Test, and the studies’ IA rates ranged widely. Little note was taken of work-related activity, and, when discussed, had little to no impact on the interpretation of Internet “addiction”. Studies seldom accounted for work-related activities, researcher bias appears to influence their position, “usage” appears conflated with “addiction”, and correlations between “addiction” and negative behaviours are frequently confused with one-way causation. In spite of IA’s not being officially recognised, few researchers questioned its validity. While IA may exist among medical students, its measurement is flawed; given the use of the Internet as a crucial medical education tool, there is the risk that conscientious students will be labelled “addicted”, and poor academic performance may be attributed to this “addiction”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
An Investigation into Smartphone Addiction with Personality and Sleep Quality among University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7588; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147588 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 6
Abstract
Over the past two decades, smartphones have become common, and the accompanying devices have also become much more popular and easily accessible worldwide. With the development of smartphones, accompanied by internet facilities, excessive smartphone use or smartphone addiction may cause sleep disturbance and [...] Read more.
Over the past two decades, smartphones have become common, and the accompanying devices have also become much more popular and easily accessible worldwide. With the development of smartphones, accompanied by internet facilities, excessive smartphone use or smartphone addiction may cause sleep disturbance and daily dysfunction. This study proposed examining the association between personality traits and smartphone addiction and its effects on sleep disturbance. Four hundred and twenty-two university participants (80 male and 342 female participants) with a mean age of 20.22 years old were recruited in this study. All participants were asked to complete the following questionnaires: Smartphone Addiction Inventory (SPAI), Tri-dimensional personality questionnaire (TPQ), and Chinese Pittsburgh Sleep Questionnaire Index (CPSQI). The results showed that people with a high tendency toward novelty seeking (NS) as a personality trait, compared to those with lower tendency toward NS, are more likely to become addicted to smartphone use. Moreover, those with a stronger trait of being NS and specific impulsivity factor were found to have higher total scores in the SPAI (p < 0.05). In addition, linear regression analysis showed that the individuals with higher scores for withdrawal symptoms on the SPAI and anticipatory worry factor on the TPQ tended to have higher CPSQI total scores (p < 0.05). This information may be useful for prevention in individuals with personality traits making them vulnerable to smartphone addiction and for designing intervention programs to reduce intensive smartphone use and programs to increase capability in managing smartphone use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
Addictive Internet Gaming Usage among Korean Adolescents before and after the Outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparison of the Latent Profiles in 2018 and 2020
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7275; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147275 - 07 Jul 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the heightened risk of school closures and mental disorders has made adolescents particularly vulnerable to developing internet gaming disorder (IGD). There have been reports of increased time spent playing games on the internet among adolescents during [...] Read more.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the heightened risk of school closures and mental disorders has made adolescents particularly vulnerable to developing internet gaming disorder (IGD). There have been reports of increased time spent playing games on the internet among adolescents during the pandemic, and the risk of developing IGD may be higher for adolescents in South Korea as the majority of them play games on the internet. However, to the best of our knowledge, no studies have examined the impact of the pandemic on adolescents’ internet gaming behavior in South Korea. This study aimed to explore the different profiles of addictive internet gaming behavior among adolescents before and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and examine how the pandemic influenced addictive internet gaming usage and time spent playing games on the internet. Nationally representative survey data from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family with 3040 and 2906 responses from 2018 and 2020, respectively, were analyzed. Using seven factors of a maladaptive gaming usage scale (tolerance, withdrawal, excessive usage, control impairment, compulsive usage, neglecting daily activity, and gaming despite negative consequence), a four-profile model was selected in both 2018 and 2020 for latent profile analysis: ‘casual’ gamer, ‘moderate’ gamer, ‘potential-risk’ gamer and ‘addictive’ gamer. The results from the two-way ANCOVA showed significant interaction between the cohorts (2018 cohort vs. 2020 cohort) and the four profiles on addictive internet gaming usage (F = 119.747, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.05), including time spent playing internet games on a PC (F = 22.893, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.013), and time spent playing games on a mobile phone (F = 3.245, p < 0.05, η2 = 0.02). The results indicated that the increase of addictive internet gaming usage and gameplay time differed by profile. The results imply that the increase in gameplay time was higher for profiles with higher scores in addictive internet gaming usage for internet games played on a PC while the relationship was not obvious for games played on a mobile phone. Despite the statistical significance, there was only 1.2% to 4.9% of mean difference in addictive internet gaming usage between the 2018 and 2020 cohorts, which implies little clinical significance. While adolescents of the four profiles showed no significant signs of increased addictive internet gaming usage, the addictive gamer profile demonstrated a significant increase in game time after COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
Can Watching Online Videos Be Addictive? A Qualitative Exploration of Online Video Watching among Chinese Young Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147247 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 4
Abstract
Watching online videos (including short-form videos) has become the most popular leisure activity in China. However, a few studies have reported the potential negative effects of online video watching behaviors (including the potential for ‘addiction’) among a minority of individuals. The present study [...] Read more.
Watching online videos (including short-form videos) has become the most popular leisure activity in China. However, a few studies have reported the potential negative effects of online video watching behaviors (including the potential for ‘addiction’) among a minority of individuals. The present study investigated online video watching behaviors, motivational factors for watching online videos, and potentially addictive indicators of watching online videos. Semi-structured interviews were conducted among 20 young Chinese adults. Qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Eight themes were identified comprising: (i) content is key; (ii) types of online video watching; (iii) platform function hooks; (iv) personal interests; (v) watching becoming habitual; (vi) social interaction needs; (vii) reassurance needs; and (viii) addiction-like symptoms. Specific video content (e.g., mukbang, pornography), platform-driven continuous watching, and short-form videos were perceived by some participants as being potentially addictive. Specific features or content on Chinese online video platforms (e.g., ‘Danmu’ scrolling comments) need further investigation. Future studies should explore users’ addictive-like behaviors in relation to specific types of online video content and their social interaction on these platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
Prevalence and Risk Factors of Internet Addiction among Hungarian High School Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136989 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 5
Abstract
Introduction: The extensive availability of the internet has led to the recognition of problematic internet use (so-called internet addiction—IA) mostly concerning adolescents. Aim: Here, we present a study focusing on the prevalence and risk factors of internet addiction in Hungarian high school students, [...] Read more.
Introduction: The extensive availability of the internet has led to the recognition of problematic internet use (so-called internet addiction—IA) mostly concerning adolescents. Aim: Here, we present a study focusing on the prevalence and risk factors of internet addiction in Hungarian high school students, using a questionnaire-based survey. Results: Overall, 3000 paper-based questionnaires were successfully delivered and 2540 responses were received (response rate of 84.6%). A total of 1309 males (mean age 17.6 ± 1.43 years) (51.5%) and 1231 females (mean age 17.5 ± 1.4 years) (48.5%) took part in our study. Internet addiction was detected in 486 (19.1%) students (232 males, mean age 17.6 ± 1.35 years, and 254 females, mean age 17.34 ± 1.37 years) based on the Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire. In a multivariate analysis, age (age of 17, OR = 3.688, p < 0.001), family status (living without parents) (OR = 2.091, p = 0.034), the size of the household (more than five people per household) (OR = 2.546, p = 0.026), spending more than 6 h online (OR = 5.457, p < 0.001), and daily time interval (OR = 84.316, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with internet addiction. Alcohol use (OR = 10.341, p = 0.001), drug intake (OR = 6.689, p = 0.001) and musculoskeletal disorders (OR = 3.966, p = 0.047) were also strongly associated with IA. Conclusion: A significant proportion of our students suffered from IA, which is associated with substance intake (possible abuse) and musculoskeletal pain in the multivariate analysis. Our study also draws attention to the preventable risk factors of IA, such as working hours or nighttime internet use, number of hours spent online and family surroundings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Article
Problematic Internet Usage and Self-Esteem in Chinese Undergraduate Students: The Mediation Effects of Individual Affect and Relationship Satisfaction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6949; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136949 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 4
Abstract
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the mediating effects of individual affect and relationship satisfaction on the relationship between self-esteem and Problematic Internet Use (PIU). Affect was measured using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), relationship satisfaction was assessed [...] Read more.
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the mediating effects of individual affect and relationship satisfaction on the relationship between self-esteem and Problematic Internet Use (PIU). Affect was measured using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), relationship satisfaction was assessed using a positive and negative semantic dimension scale, self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and PIU was measured using the Problematic Internet Use scale with a sample of 507 Chinese university students (Mage = 20.41 years, SD = 2.49). The relationships between the variables were tested using structural equation modelling with a multiple mediation model. The results revealed that negative affect and the negative semantic dimensions of relationship satisfaction mediated the relationship between self-esteem and PIU. The implications of the results and the study’s theoretical contributions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
The Impact of Internet Addiction and Job Satisfaction on Mental Health Symptoms among a Sample of Portuguese Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136943 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Not many studies assessing the impact of internet addiction (IA) and job satisfaction (JS) on mental health symptoms (MHS) among active workers exist. Therefore, the purpose of this study was as follows: (a) to assess the presence of criteria for IA among a [...] Read more.
Not many studies assessing the impact of internet addiction (IA) and job satisfaction (JS) on mental health symptoms (MHS) among active workers exist. Therefore, the purpose of this study was as follows: (a) to assess the presence of criteria for IA among a sample of active workers; (b) to analyze differences in IA, JS and MHS, by gender; (c) to analyze association levels among IA, JS, and MHS; and (d) to determine the predictive effect of IA and JS on MHS. In total, 1064 participants (Mage = 40.66; SD = 12.02) completed a survey containing four categories of measures: demographic information, internet addiction, job satisfaction, and mental health symptoms (anxiety and depression). Results showed a presence of 13.3% for IA among the sample. Male participants showed higher scores of IA and JS but lower scores of overall MSH than female participants did. Significant positive correlations were found between overall IA and MHS, and significant negative correlations were found between IA and JS, and MHS and JS. Hierarchical linear regression analysis showed that strong predictors of MHS were age (being older), gender (being female), not having enough economic funds, being unsatisfied with the leadership in the job, being unsatisfied with the nature of the job, and having higher scores in salience and excessive use regarding IA. In conclusion, addiction to internet technology is a risk factor with implications for occupational satisfaction and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
Review
The Prevalence of Nomophobia by Population and by Research Tool: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Regression
Psych 2021, 3(2), 249-258; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020019 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 5
Abstract
Background: No systematic review or meta-analysis has yet been performed to examine the global prevalence of nomophobia by population, by instrument. Thus, this review was performed to estimate the prevalence of nomophobia by severity. Methods: American Psychological Association PsycINFO, Cochrane, Cumulative Index to [...] Read more.
Background: No systematic review or meta-analysis has yet been performed to examine the global prevalence of nomophobia by population, by instrument. Thus, this review was performed to estimate the prevalence of nomophobia by severity. Methods: American Psychological Association PsycINFO, Cochrane, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), EBSCOhost, EMBASE, MEDLINE, ProQuest Medical, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science from inception of each respective database to second week of January 2021 were used. There was no language restriction. The random-effect meta-analysis model was used with the DerSimonian and Laird methodology was used for computation. Results: Twenty papers, involving 12,462 participants from ten countries, were evaluated for meta-analysis. The prevalence of moderate to severe nomophobia is 70.76% [95% CI 62.62%; 77.75%]. The prevalence of severe nomophobia is 20.81% [95% CI 15.45%; 27.43%]. University students appeared to be the highest group affected with a prevalence of severe nomophobia 25.46% [95% CI 18.49%; 33.98%]. Meta-regressions of severe nomophobia showed that age and sex were not a successful predictor of severe nomophobia β = −0.9732, p = 0.2672 and β = −0.9732, p = 0.4986. Conclusions: The prevalence of severe nomophobia is approximately 21% in the general adult population. University students appeared to be the most impacted by the disorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
Heart Rate Variability, Time Estimation and Internet-Dependent Behaviour in 16–17-Year-Old Adolescents: A Study in Russian Arctic
Life 2021, 11(6), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060497 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Internet-dependent behaviour in adolescents can contribute to a change in the function of the nervous system, which is reflected in the violation of time perception and autonomic regulation of the heart rate. The aim of the study was to determine groups of individuals [...] Read more.
Internet-dependent behaviour in adolescents can contribute to a change in the function of the nervous system, which is reflected in the violation of time perception and autonomic regulation of the heart rate. The aim of the study was to determine groups of individuals with different risks of Internet addiction (IA) in relation to heart rate variability (HRV) parameters and the efficiency of time estimation in adolescents aged 16–17 years living in the Russian Arctic. Adolescents aged 16–17 years (n = 49–32 females, 17 males) living in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Russia) were observed. Chen Scale Internet Addiction (CIAS) was used. The duration of an individual 1 min was determined. HRV parameters were determined using the "Varicard" equipment (Russia). In 16–17-year-old adolescents with different levels of risk of developing IA, including signs of IA, we revealed a high severity of symptoms of withdrawal from Internet use, difficulty in time estimation against the background of sympathicotonia and a decrease in vagal regulation of heart rate. In individuals with minimal symptoms of withdrawal from Internet use, the total HRV and vagal activity remain higher than in those with severe withdrawal symptoms, and their time estimation remains effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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