Psychiatry Investig.  2017 Nov;14(6):879-882. 10.4306/pi.2017.14.6.879.

Prevalence and Psychiatric Comorbidities of Internet Addiction in a Nationwide Sample of Korean Adults

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Research Planning, Mental Health Research Institute, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. suhurhong@gmail.com
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Inha University of College of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Hallym University Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

The goal of the study was to examine the prevalence and psychiatric comorbidities of Internet addiction in a nationwide sample of Korean adults. Among a total of 6,022 participants involved in Korean Epidemiological Catchment Area study in 2011, 3,723 Internet users were assessed for their Internet addiction using Young's 8-item Diagnostic Questionnaire. The results showed that of the 3,723 Internet users, 39 (1.0%) had Internet addiction. Addicted Internet users were younger, more likely to be males and unemployed compared to non-addicted Internet users. Internet addiction was associated with alcohol and nicotine use disorders, depressive disorders, and anxiety disorder after controlling for age, gender, and occupational status. Internet addiction was associated with suicidal plans even after controlling for psychiatric disorders and socio-demographic factors. This study showed that Internet addiction is highly associated with variety of different psychiatric disorders and suicidal plans. Therefore, clinicians should carefully evaluate them when treating addicted Internet users.

Keyword

Internet addiction; Mental disorders; Suicide; Korea

MeSH Terms

Adult*
Anxiety Disorders
Comorbidity*
Depressive Disorder
Employment
Humans
Internet*
Korea
Male
Mental Disorders
Prevalence*
Suicide
Tobacco Use Disorder
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