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Article: Internet addiction increases in the general population during COVID-19: Evidence from China

TitleInternet addiction increases in the general population during COVID-19: Evidence from China
Authors
Issue Date2021
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc. The Journal's web site is located at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15210391
Citation
American Journal on Addictions, 2021, Epub 2021-03-19 How to Cite?
AbstractBackground and Objectives: COVID-19-related quarantine and stress have likely escalated the crisis of Internet addiction. This study aimed to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Internet use and related risk factors among the general public in China. Methods: A large-sample cross-sectional online survey was conducted from March 24 to April 30, 2020, in China, and 20,472 participants completed the survey. We investigated the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction based on the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and explored the risk factors related to increases in time spent on Internet use and severity of Internet addiction, as well as severe Internet addiction. Results: The overall prevalence of Internet addiction was 36.7% among the general population during the pandemic, and that of severe Internet addiction was 2.8%, according to IAT scores. Time spent on recreational Internet use had significantly increased during the pandemic, and almost half of participants reported increases in the severity of Internet addiction. Risk factors for increases in time spent on Internet use and severity of Internet addiction and severe Internet addiction included having fewer social supporters, perceiving pressure and impact on mental health status due to COVID-19, and being over-engaged in playing videogames. Discussion and Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted Internet use and increased the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction among the general population in China, especially in vulnerable populations. Scientific Significance: This study provides evidence for policymakers to refine public health policies to control the pandemic and make efforts to provide population-specific prevention and interventions for people at risk of developing Internet addiction. (Am J Addict 2021;00:00–00)
DescriptionBronze open access
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/298716
ISSN
2020 Impact Factor: 3.076
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.843
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLi, YY-
dc.contributor.authorSun, Y-
dc.contributor.authorMeng, SQ-
dc.contributor.authorBao, YP-
dc.contributor.authorCheng, JL-
dc.contributor.authorChang, XW-
dc.contributor.authorRan, MS-
dc.contributor.authorSun, YK-
dc.contributor.authorKosten, T-
dc.contributor.authorStrang, J-
dc.contributor.authorLu, L-
dc.contributor.authorShi, J-
dc.date.accessioned2021-04-12T03:02:24Z-
dc.date.available2021-04-12T03:02:24Z-
dc.date.issued2021-
dc.identifier.citationAmerican Journal on Addictions, 2021, Epub 2021-03-19-
dc.identifier.issn1055-0496-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/298716-
dc.descriptionBronze open access-
dc.description.abstractBackground and Objectives: COVID-19-related quarantine and stress have likely escalated the crisis of Internet addiction. This study aimed to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Internet use and related risk factors among the general public in China. Methods: A large-sample cross-sectional online survey was conducted from March 24 to April 30, 2020, in China, and 20,472 participants completed the survey. We investigated the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction based on the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and explored the risk factors related to increases in time spent on Internet use and severity of Internet addiction, as well as severe Internet addiction. Results: The overall prevalence of Internet addiction was 36.7% among the general population during the pandemic, and that of severe Internet addiction was 2.8%, according to IAT scores. Time spent on recreational Internet use had significantly increased during the pandemic, and almost half of participants reported increases in the severity of Internet addiction. Risk factors for increases in time spent on Internet use and severity of Internet addiction and severe Internet addiction included having fewer social supporters, perceiving pressure and impact on mental health status due to COVID-19, and being over-engaged in playing videogames. Discussion and Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic adversely impacted Internet use and increased the prevalence and severity of Internet addiction among the general population in China, especially in vulnerable populations. Scientific Significance: This study provides evidence for policymakers to refine public health policies to control the pandemic and make efforts to provide population-specific prevention and interventions for people at risk of developing Internet addiction. (Am J Addict 2021;00:00–00)-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc. The Journal's web site is located at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15210391-
dc.relation.ispartofAmerican Journal on Addictions-
dc.rightsSubmitted (preprint) Version This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: [FULL CITE], which has been published in final form at [Link to final article using the DOI]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. Accepted (peer-reviewed) Version This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [FULL CITE], which has been published in final form at [Link to final article using the DOI]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.-
dc.titleInternet addiction increases in the general population during COVID-19: Evidence from China-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailRan, MS: msran@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityRan, MS=rp01788-
dc.description.naturelink_to_OA_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/ajad.13156-
dc.identifier.pmid33738888-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-85102643333-
dc.identifier.hkuros321978-
dc.identifier.volumeEpub 2021-03-19-
dc.identifier.spage1-
dc.identifier.epage9-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000630327200001-
dc.publisher.placeUnited States-

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