The association between Internet addiction and personality traits in medical students

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Associate professor of psychiatry, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 School of Medicine, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran.


Introduction: Regarding the prevalence of Internet Addiction (IA) in university students and the relationship between IA and personality traits, the present study aims to assess Internet addiction and its relationship with personality traits in medical students.
Materials and Methods: The population of this correlational study consisted of all medical students of Gonabad University of Medical Sciences-Iran in 2020 (n= 350). Among them, 196 students (124 female and 72 male) were selected using simple random sampling based on gender and educational level. They fulfilled the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R). The data were analyzed through the descriptive tests and inferential statistics, including standard error of proportions, Chi-square, Fisher's-test, Pearson's correlation coefficient, and the regression model through SPSS v.23.
Results: The findings revealed that 16.84% of the students had severe IA, while 63.78% had moderate IA. The demographic variables indicated that gender was not related to IA significantly, while the relationship between IA and marital status was significant. In personality traits, the highest correlation was seen between IA and neuroticism (r= 0.33, P= 0.001). Also, there is a significant and negative relationship between conscientiousness and the level of internet addiction (moderate correlation level) (r= -0.29, P= 0.001). At the same time, there were not any significant relationships between IA and other personality traits.
Conclusion: Based on the findings, the prevalence rate of Internet addiction among medical students was high, especially in single students—also, personality traits of neuroticism, and conscientiousness significantly correlated with Internet addiction.


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