British Journal of Research Open Access

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Correlation Between Psychological Distress And Internet Addiction Among Adolescents During (Covid-19 Period)

Khan NM, Mullick MSI, Uddin MMJ, Hussain S

Background: The virtual environment, facilitated through the use of the Internet, is a well-acknowledged socio-economic-cultural reality of the present times, especially in the wake of COVID-19 related precautionary measures and restrictions related to real-time interactions. At the same time, poor psychological health can be a trigger for using the internet as a means of escape from boredom, loneliness, anxiety, sadness, and frustration, a trend that seems to be rising during the current COVID-19 period. Long hours of internet use, with no, outdoors do have consequences for the psychological health of an adolescent. Objective: The present study explores the correlation between psychological distress and internet addiction among adolescents. Materials and Methods: This descriptive and observational study was conducted in the Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health & Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh from January 2020 to December 2020. In the survey, a sample of 51 adolescents in the age range of 13 to 18 years was administered the Internet Addiction Test. The correlation between Internet Addiction and Psychological Distress, as measured through the levels of anxiety, depression, and loss of behavioral/ emotional control, was examined using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Method. Results: The total number of uncontrolled users of the internet (moderately and severely addicted combined) constituted about two-thirds (66.7%) of the sample population. Moderate to severe Psychological Distress was discovered in 71.7% of the sample population. There were no gender differences in Internet Addiction. Internet Addiction positively correlated with Psychological Distress (r=0.82; p<0.01). Conclusion: The assessment of Internet usage can be helpful in the treatment of psychological problems among adolescents. In a similar vein, for the treatment of Internet-addicted adolescents, the evaluation of psychological distress, particularly depression and anxiety, must be considered. Effective counseling and intervention programs need to be designed and implemented for teaching healthy, moderate, and non-addictive internet use for improving the overall psychological well-being of adolescents.