Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Original Article

The relationship of internet addiction symptom severity with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and impulsivity among Turkish university students


Baltalimani State Hospital for Muskuloskeletal Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Istanbul - Turkey


Private Practice, Ankara, Turkey


Research, Treatment and Training Center for Alcohol and Substance Dependence (AMATEM), Bakirkoy Training and Research Hospital for Psychiatry Neurology and Neurosurgery, Istanbul, Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, Gulhane Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2019; 29: 83-89
DOI: 10.1080/24750573.2018.1505422
Read: 896 Downloads: 506 Published: 04 February 2021

OBJECTIVES: The first aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of impulsivity with Internet addiction symptom severity (IASS), and the second aim was to evaluate the mediator effect of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms on this relationship among Turkish university students.

METHODS: A total of 314 Turkish university students participated in this study. However, 268 students who answered “YES” to the any question concerning various traumatic experiences were included in the study. The students were assessed through sociodemographic questionnaire, the Internet Addiction Scale (IAS), the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist – Civilian Version (PCL-C) and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11 – Short Form (BIS11-SF).

RESULTS: According to Internet addiction risk severity (IARS), the participants were classified into the three groups as high (25.0%, n = 67), mild (33.6%, n = 90), and no risk (41.4%, n = 111) of IA. Total score of BIS-11-SF and subscale scores (non-planning impulsivity [NPI], motor impulsivity [MI], and attention impulsivity [AI]) were higher in the group with high IARS. Scale scores were mildly correlated with each other. Finally, hierarchical regression analysis indicated that severity of MI, AI, and PTSD symptoms, especially hyperarousal symptoms, were the main predictors for IASS.

CONCLUSIONS: There was strong relationship between impulsivity and IASS and this relationship persist even after severity of PTSD symptoms was entered in the analysis among Turkish university students. Severity of PTSD symptoms especially hyperarousal symptoms, may partially mediate the relationship between severity of impulsivity (especially MI and AI) and IASS.

EISSN 2475-0581