The Relationship between Internet Use and Psychological Health Status among University Students

Authors

1 Education and Psychology Faculty Teacher Training University

2 Department of Psychology Teacher Training University

3 Department of Educational Psychology Allameh Tabatabai University

Abstract

As internet use has become popular, its advantages and disadvantages of social, psychological and occupational health consequences have increased. The aim of this work was to investigate the relationship between internet use and psychological health status among university students. A cross-sectional study was conducted in different universities in Tehran. The random stratified sampling was employed to select a sample of 1,237 students from different universities in Tehran, Iran. Two questionnaires were used to obtain information related to the students’ demographic characteristics and the time they spent on the Internet. Their psychological health status was investigated by means of a symptoms checklist questionnaire (SCL90-R). Fifty participants were identified as heavy Internet users (over 25 hours per week). They were matched by socio-demographic characteristics with 50 participants categorized as light Internet users (less than 10 hours a week) who served as the control group. The light Internet users were psychologically healthier than the heavy users. The heavy Internet users suffered from psychological problems such as somatization, compulsive obsession, interpersonal sensitivity, anxiety, depression and aggression. These results are suggestive of a decline in psychological health status of students who overuse the internet.

Keywords