The relationship between Internet addiction and bulimia in a sample of Chinese college students: depression as partial mediator between Internet addiction and bulimia
- 433 Downloads
It has been reported that Internet addiction is associated with substance dependence. Eating disorders have high rates of co-morbidity with substance use disorders. The relationship between Internet addiction and eating disorders was reported in a previous study.
To examine the hypothesis that Internet addiction is closely associated with bulimia. The hypothesis that depression mediates the relationship between Internet addiction and bulimia symptoms was also tested.
2,036 Chinese college students were assessed on Internet addiction, eating behaviors and depression. Binge eating, compensatory behaviors, weight concern, menarche and weight change were also reported. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the mediating effect of depression.
Internet addicts showed significantly higher scores on most subscales on EDI-1 than the controls. They reported significantly more binge eating, weight concern and weight change than the controls. Among all of the participants, depression was found to be a partial mediator in the relationship between Internet addiction and bulimia.
This survey provides evidence of the co-morbidity of Internet addiction and bulimia.
KeywordsInternet addiction Eating disorders Comorbidity Depression Mediator
I wish to thank all the participants. I also wish to thank Dr. Dietmar for his statistical advice and Mr. Christopher Angell for corrections to the manuscript. The research was supported by grants from the education department, Jiangsu Province, China (Grand Nr: 2011SJD190001); by grant from the "the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities". (Grand Nr: 3213002203) in Southeast University, China.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 1.Griffith MD (1998) Internet addition: does it really exist? In: Gackenbach J (ed) Psychology and the Internet: intrapersonal, interpersonal and transpersonal Applications. Academic Press, New York, pp 61–75Google Scholar
- 10.Tao ZL, Liu Y (2009) Is there a relationship between Internet dependence and eating disorders? A comparison study of Internet dependents and non-Internet dependents. Eat Weight Disord 14:77–83Google Scholar
- 14.Young S (1998) Caught in the Net. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 21.Garner DM (1991) Eating Disorder Inventory-C. Psychological Assessment Resources, LutzGoogle Scholar
- 22.Garner DM (1991) Eating Disorder Inventory-2. Professional manual. Psychological Assessment Resources, LutzGoogle Scholar
- 29.Zhang, Kong QM (2004) Applicability of EDI-I in Beijing, China. Chin J Mental Health 18:48–50 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
- 30.American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edn. American Psychiatric Association, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- 31.Keel PK, Heatherton TF, Dorer DJ et al (2005) Point prevalence of bulimia nervosa in 1982, 1992, and 2002. Psychiatr Med 36:119–127Google Scholar
- 33.Beck AT (1967) Depression: clinical, experimental and theoretical aspects. Harper & Row, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 39.Wen ZL, Hou JT, Hang L (2005) A comparison of moderator and mediator and their applications. Acta Psychol Sin 37:268–274Google Scholar
- 46.Garner DM, Garfinkel P (1982) Perceptive and cognitive disturbances. Anorexia nervosa: a multidimensional perspective. Brunner/Mazel, New York, pp 123–163Google Scholar
- 47.Davis MS, Marsh L (1986) Self-love, self-control and alexithymia: narcissistic features of two bulimic adolescents. Am J Psychother 15:224–232Google Scholar
- 49.Russell G (1979) Bulimia nervosa: an ominous variant of anorexia nervosa. Psychiatr Med 9:429–448Google Scholar
- 53.Johnson CL, Connors ME (1987) The etiology and treatment of bulimia nervosa. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 59.Frankl G (2000) Foundations of morality—an investigation into the origin and purpose of moral concepts. Open Gate Press, London (translated into Chinese, China international culture and publishing company, print consent from Open gate press), p 105Google Scholar
- 61.Zhang FC, Mitchell JE, Kuang L et al (1992) The prevalence of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa among freshman medical college students in China. Int J Eat Disord 12:209–214Google Scholar