The internet, aptly called information superhighway is widely used throughout the world. Medical and engineering students are a particularly vulnerable group and thus prone to depression and internet addiction. The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Internet addiction, to assess the levels of depression, anxiety and stress among medical and engineering students and to correlate the level of internet addiction with depression levels.
A cross sectional study was carried out among 200 first year undergraduate students, 100 each from medical and engineering colleges of Bengaluru city, selected by simple random sampling method. Data was collected by interpersonal interviews using a standardized ‘Internet Addiction Test’ questionnaire by Dr. Kimberly S. Young and ‘Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS)-21’ questionnaire by Psychology foundation, UNSW, Australia.
In total of 200 students, the mean age of participants was 18.85 ± 0.197 years. Males constituted 52% while females constituted 48% of study population. The prevalence of Internet addiction was 67%. Prevalence of Depression, Anxiety and Stress in the study population was 49.5%, 52.5% and 67.5% respectively because of internet addiction. Statistically significant association (p=0.0002) was found between internet addiction and depression levels; between depression and anxiety levels (p=0.00001); depression and stress levels (p=0.0002).
The present study highlights the vulnerability of professional college students to internet addiction. Internet addiction also seems to be associated with increasing prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress.
Internet Addiction, Young’s scale, Depression, Anxiety, Stress