Is there a relationship between Internet dependence and eating disorders? A comparison study of Internet dependents and non-Internet dependents

  • Z. L. Tao
  • Y. Liu
Original Research Paper


Objective: Several studies have examined the underlying psychopathology in overuse of the Internet, including depression, social anxiety, and substance dependence. A relationship between these psychological disorders appears to exist. No links have been established between Internet dependence and eating disorders. Method: Fifty-four Internet dependents were compared with a control group concerning symptomatic aspects of eating disorders and psychological characteristics related to eating disorders. They all belonged to 1199 respondents of Chinese secondary school and college students between the ages of 12 and 25 years old. A Mann-Whitney U-test was used to determine the difference between Internet dependent groups and non-Internet dependent groups concerning Eating Attitudes Test and Eating Disorder Inventory scores. Results: Females and male Internet dependents rated themselves with significantly higher symptomatic aspects of eating disorders than control groups. Female and male Internet dependents showed significantly higher psychological characteristics related to eating disorders than control groups. CONCLUSIONS: A relationship between Internet dependence and eating disorders appears to exist.

Key words

Internet addiction eating disorders China students 


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Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Psychology, School of Social DevelopmentFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Health Department of Yunnan ProvinceHealth Education InstituteKunmingChina

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