Aim: To find the pattern and characteristics of Problematic internet use and to determine the relationship between Internet Addiction, Perceived stress and Emotional Intelligence among medical students.
Materials and methods:
In this cross-sectional study, using convenience sampling, 368 study participants were selected from the undergraduate medical students of a medical college in North Kerala. After getting written informed consent, socio-demographic data sheet, Internet Addiction Test (IAT), Schutte Self Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SSEIT) and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) were filled up by the participants. Completed responses were scored and analyzed using SPSS 18.0.
Results: Problematic internet use among the participants was 65.7%. In the sample, 42.9% had mild internet addiction, and 22.8% had moderate internet addiction. There was a positive correlation between scores of IAT and PSS and a negative correlation between scores of IAT and SSEIT. A pattern of increased levels of perceived stress and decreased levels of emotional intelligence was noticed with increasing levels of internet addiction scores.
Conclusion: Young medical students were found to have mild and moderate levels of internet addiction and were high in perceived stress. Those with an addiction pattern of internet use also showed lower levels of emotional intelligence. It is crucial to identify those with lower levels of emotional intelligence and intervene effectively for stress management to reduce the internet overuse and emotional sequelae of it.
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