Cross-lagged analysis of panel survey data collected from Taiwanese college students (initially 387 males and 370 females) was used to examine the temporal relationship between problematic Internet use (PIU) and lifestyle changes during the first year in college. We hypothesized that a reciprocal relationship might exist between PIU and lifestyle changes. Structural equation modeling was adopted to test several nested cross-lagged relationship models. The results showed that four measures of lifestyle changes and PIU were moderately to highly stable across one year. Moreover, PIU in freshman year predicted negative changes in lifestyle in the following year, including a reduction of physical and social activities, irregular diet and unhealthy sleep. Lifestyle changes in freshman year, in contrast, did not predict PIU in sophomore year; the hypothesized reciprocal relationship between PIU and lifestyle changes was not warranted. Implications and limitations are discussed.
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