Internet Addiction and its Psychosocial Risks (Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Loneliness) among Iranian Adolescents and Young Adults: A Structural Equation Model in a Cross-Sectional Study

Abstract

Internet addiction has become an increasingly researched area in many Westernized countries. However, there has been little research in developing countries such as Iran, and when research has been conducted, it has typically utilized small samples. This study investigated the relationship of Internet addiction with stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness in 1052 Iranian adolescents and young adults. The participants were randomly selected to complete a battery of psychometrically validated instruments including the Internet Addiction Test, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and the Loneliness Scale. Structural equation modeling and Pearson correlation coefficients were used to determine the relationship between Internet addiction and psychological impairments (depression, anxiety, stress and loneliness). Pearson correlation, path analysis, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), and t-tests were used to analyze the data. Results showed that Internet addiction is a predictor of stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Findings further indicated that addictive Internet use is gender sensitive and that the risk of Internet addiction is higher in males than in females. The results showed that male Internet addicts differed significantly from females in terms of depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. The implications of these results are discussed.

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Correspondence to Mark D. Griffiths.

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Ostovar, S., Allahyar, N., Aminpoor, H. et al. Internet Addiction and its Psychosocial Risks (Depression, Anxiety, Stress and Loneliness) among Iranian Adolescents and Young Adults: A Structural Equation Model in a Cross-Sectional Study. Int J Ment Health Addiction 14, 257–267 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-015-9628-0

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Keywords

  • Internet addiction
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness