[Analysis of behavior related to use of the Internet, mobile telephones, compulsive shopping and gambling among university students]

Rosario Ruiz-Olivares, Valentina Lucena, M José Pino, Javier Herruzo
Adicciones 2010, 22 (4): 301-9
The aim of this study is to obtain knowledge about habits related to addictive behaviour (pathological gambling, Internet, compulsive shopping, use of mobile telephones, etc.) that may be displayed by young students at the University of Cordoba (Spain), and to relate this behaviour with variables such as age, sex, course year, macro-field of study (arts/sciences) and the consumption of substances such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and cocaine. Using an ex-post facto single-group design (Montero & Leon, 2007), we applied a questionnaire especially designed to gather socio-demographic information on substance use and behavioural patterns related to "non-substance" addictions, which included the Shopping Addiction Test, Echeburua's Internet Addiction Test (2003) and Fernandez-Montalvo and Echeburua's Short Pathological Gambling Questionnaire (1997). A total of 1,011 students participated in the study (42.7% males and 57.3% females), with an age range of 18 to 29. Significant differences were found between mean score on the questionnaires and variables such as age, sex, field of studies and course year. It would seem that being female is a protective factor for Internet and gambling addiction, being a sciences student is a risk factor for gambling addiction, and being older and being an arts student are risk factors for shopping addiction. In conclusion, it can be stated that the students surveyed showed moderate incidence of behaviours such as Internet browsing, gambling, shopping and mobile phone use, whilst a very small group are close to having an addiction problem with such behaviours.

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