Open J Psychiatry Allied Sci. 2019 Jul 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Loneliness, social anxiety, social support, and internet addiction among postgraduate college students.

Singh A, Khess CRJ, KJ M, Ali A, Gujar NM.

Abstract

Background: There is little evidence that loneliness, social anxiety, and social support can cause excessive use of internet addiction in college students. The present study is just an attempt to show a relationship between loneliness, social anxiety, social support, and internet addiction among college students. Methodology: Cross-sectional study design was used to select sample from four departments (History, Philosophy, Hindi, and English) of Ranchi University using simple random sampling. A total of 100 students were included and informed consents were taken for further assessment. Sociodemographic datasheet, the revised UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Loneliness Scale, the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS), the Multidimensional Scale for Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) were administered. Study was undertaken with the permission of scientific and ethics committee of Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi. Data was analysed by using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. Results: High level of loneliness (92%), social anxiety in 21%, social phobia in 22%, and severe internet addiction was present in 15% of the respondents. Loneliness has a significant positive correlation with social anxiety (r=0.285, p<0.01). In regression analysis, social anxiety, perceived social support, and internet addiction contributed significantly to the prediction of loneliness among college students [F(3,96)=4.492, p=0.005] accounting at 1.23% variance. Social anxiety strongly contributes to the variance on the loneliness (Beta=0.358, t=3.389, p=0.001). Conclusion: Social anxiety has a significant relationship with loneliness and act as prominent predictors for loneliness. Prevalence of internet addiction was high among college going students.

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