Background: Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI) is a considerable issue of the modern era, but its risk factors are still poorly understood. Impulsivity and obsessive-compulsive symptoms have been associated with PUI, but this relationship is still debated. In this article we focus on the relationships of PUI with obsessive-compulsive and impulsive symptoms in a cohort of Italian young adults, in order to identify possible vulnerability factors for PUI. Methods: A sample of 772 Italian individuals aged 18–30 (mean age 23.3 ± 3.3 years old; 38% males and 62% females) was assessed via online survey using the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) Screen, the Padua Inventory-Washington State University Revision (PI-WSUR) and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11). Results: Ninety-seven subjects (12.6% of the sample) reported IAT scores at risk for PUI. PUI participants reported higher levels of impulsivity, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and a higher burden of co-occurrent psychiatric symptoms. In a logistic regression model, obsessional impulses to harm (OR = 1.108, p < 0.001), attentional impulsivity (OR = 1.155, p < 0.001) and depressive symptomatology (OR = 1.246, p = 0.012) had significant association with PUI. Finally, higher severity of PUI has been associated with manic/psychotic symptoms and with attentional impulsivity. Conclusions: Our findings confirmed the role of impulsivity in PUI, while also underling the association of obsessional impulses with this pathological behavior. We could hypothesize a trigger role of obsessive impulses for the engagement in PUI, together with factors as negative affective states. Further research is needed with respect to more severe forms of PUI, also for establishing tailored interventions.

Characterizing the building blocks of Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI): The role of obsessional impulses and impulsivity traits among Italian young adults

Francesco Di Carlo
Primo
;
Mauro Pettorruso
Secondo
;
Maria Chiara Alessi;Elena Picutti;Rebecca Collevecchio;Gaia Baroni;Francesco Gambi;Giovanni Martinotti;Massimo di Giannantonio
2021

Abstract

Background: Problematic Use of the Internet (PUI) is a considerable issue of the modern era, but its risk factors are still poorly understood. Impulsivity and obsessive-compulsive symptoms have been associated with PUI, but this relationship is still debated. In this article we focus on the relationships of PUI with obsessive-compulsive and impulsive symptoms in a cohort of Italian young adults, in order to identify possible vulnerability factors for PUI. Methods: A sample of 772 Italian individuals aged 18–30 (mean age 23.3 ± 3.3 years old; 38% males and 62% females) was assessed via online survey using the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) Screen, the Padua Inventory-Washington State University Revision (PI-WSUR) and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11). Results: Ninety-seven subjects (12.6% of the sample) reported IAT scores at risk for PUI. PUI participants reported higher levels of impulsivity, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and a higher burden of co-occurrent psychiatric symptoms. In a logistic regression model, obsessional impulses to harm (OR = 1.108, p < 0.001), attentional impulsivity (OR = 1.155, p < 0.001) and depressive symptomatology (OR = 1.246, p = 0.012) had significant association with PUI. Finally, higher severity of PUI has been associated with manic/psychotic symptoms and with attentional impulsivity. Conclusions: Our findings confirmed the role of impulsivity in PUI, while also underling the association of obsessional impulses with this pathological behavior. We could hypothesize a trigger role of obsessive impulses for the engagement in PUI, together with factors as negative affective states. Further research is needed with respect to more severe forms of PUI, also for establishing tailored interventions.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
1-s2.0-S0010440X21000031-main.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Article
Tipologia: PDF editoriale
Dimensione 347.8 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
347.8 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/744485
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 4
  • Scopus 13
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 12
social impact