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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-63

Medical undergraduates and pathological internet use: Interplay of stressful life events and resilience

Department of Psychiatry, Burdwan Medical College and Hospital, Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amrita Chakraborti
B 5/4, ECTP 3, Kasba Golpark, Kolkata - 700 107, West Bengal
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-600X.173835

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Background: Being in the age of technological advancement, the human mind is under constant risk of being engulfed by social media leading to pathological internet use. Cyberworld serves as a buffer under stress by means of satisfying various needs of an individual in the form of entertainment, access to information, gaining recognition and maintaining relationships. Conversely, the morbid preoccupation of the internet was found to be averted by positive coping resilience and sense of self-efficacy under stressful condition. Objectives: To observe the pattern of internet use in medical students and to explore any possible relationship of internet use with stressful life event and resilience level. Materials and Methods: The study sample was drawn from medical undergraduates using semistructured questionnaire consisting of demographic profile, details of various aspects of internet use, internet addiction test questionnaire (IAT), resilience scale and student stress scale (SSS). Results: Almost all of the participants (n = 98) used the internet and social media. Mean age of the sample was 20.41 (±1.64) years, 64.3% were male and 35.7% female. On IAT, 80.6% students were moderate users, and 19.4% were problem users. IAT negatively correlated with resilience (r = −0.272, P = 0.007), whereas positively correlated with SSS total score (r = 0.330, P = 0.001) and total number of stressful life events (r = 0.335, P = 0.001). 30.6% of the students stated that a major life event had influenced their internet usage. In the linear regression model, life event appeared as a significant predictor of IAT score. Conclusion: Medical students acknowledge the role of the internet in surviving the enormous stress level brought on by various life events. At the same time, stressful life events could predict IA.

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