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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Prevalence of internet addiction and its association with stressful life events and psychological symptoms among adolescent internet users

Jie Tang, Yizhen Yu, Yukai Du, Ying Ma, Dongying Zhang, Jiaji Wang
Addictive Behaviors 2014, 39 (3): 744-7
24388433
Internet addiction (IA) among adolescents is a serious public health problem around the world. However, there have been few studies that examine the association between IA and stressful life events and psychological symptoms among Chinese adolescent internet users. We examined the association between IA and stressful life events and psychological symptoms among a random sample of school students who were internet users (N=755) in Wuhan, China. Internet addiction, stressful life events, coping style and psychological symptoms were measured by self-rated scales. The prevalence rate of internet addiction was 6.0% among adolescent internet users. Logistic regression analyses indicated that stressors from interpersonal problem and school related problem and anxiety symptoms were significantly associated with IA after controlling for demographic characteristics. Analyses examining the coping style with the IA revealed that negative coping style may mediate the effects of stressful life events to increase the risk of IA. However, no significant interaction of stressful life events and psychological symptoms was found. These findings of the current study indicate a high prevalence of internet addiction among Chinese adolescent internet users and highlight the importance of stressors from interpersonal problem and school related problem as a risk factor for IA which mainly mediated through negative coping style.

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