The Prevalence of Internet Addiction and its Association with Depression, Anxiety, and Stress, among High-School Students

Authors

1 MSc Student in Health Education, Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

2 PhD in Health Education and Assistant Professor, Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

3 MSc in Biostatistics and Instructor, Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction
The Internet is an integral part of our everyday life. Aside from its positive effects, what have garnered researchers’ attention are its adverse side effects and adolescents’ addiction to it. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of Internet addiction and its relationship to anxiety, stress, and depression among Iranian high-school students in Shahr-e Kord, Iran.
Materials and Methods
The current cross-sectional study was conducted on 417high-school boys and girls in Shahr-e Kord in 2016. In order to gather data, a two-section questionnaire was applied. It included personal information and Young’s Internet Addiction Test, which explored the status of Internet addiction, and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales 21 (DASS-21), which investigated anxiety, stress, and depression among the students. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0 software.
Results
As for the prevalence of Internet addiction, 69.5% of the students were normal users, 27.6% had a mild addiction to the Internet, and 2.9% were severely addicted to the Internet. The results revealed that the mean score of anxiety, depression, and stress among the Internet Addiction was significantly higher than that among the normal Internet users (P< 0.001).
Conclusion
Given the prevalence of Internet addiction among students in this study which is similar to some Europe countries and its significant association with anxiety, stress, and depression, it appears necessary to plan to take interventional measures and educate students about the optimal use of the Internet.

Keywords