Prevalence of internet addiction during the covid-19 outbreak and its risk factors among junior high school students in Taiwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has significantly disrupted normal activities globally. During this epidemic, people around the world were expected to encounter several mental health challenges. In particular, Internet addiction may become a serious issue among teens. Consequently, this study aimed to examine the prevalence of Internet addiction and identify the psychosocial risk factors during the COVID-19 outbreak. This study was constructed using a cross-sectional design with 1060 participants recruited from among junior high school students around Taiwan using stratified and cluster sampling methods. Taiwan’s first COVID-19 case was diagnosed on 28 January 2020. New cases exploded rapidly in February, and as a result, participants were surveyed during March 2 through 27 March 2020. The prevalence of Internet addiction was found to be 24.4% during this period. High impulsivity, high virtual social support, older in age, low subjective well-being, low family function, and high alexithymia was all independently predictive in the forward logistic regression analyses. The prevalence rate of Internet addiction was high among junior high school students during the COVID-19 outbreak. Results from this study can be used to help mental health organizations and educational agencies design programs that will help prevent Internet addiction in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8547
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 2

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • COVID-19
  • Internet addiction
  • Prevalence
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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