Digital vs. Detrimental: Understanding the Connection Between Internet Addiction and Mental Health

Sailesh Yellayi

Name: Sailesh Ram Yellayi
Major: Psychology
Minor: Classical Studies
Advisor: Dr. Susan Clayton, Mike Casey (second reader)
Addiction is generally viewed as a grave issue among today’s youth. Most commonly, many fear young people potentially becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. However, there is one form of addiction that is heavily neglected amongst the others. That is cyber addiction. Obsession with constant use of the internet and cellular devices has become more and more frequent and has been argued to be especially common among those who suffer from mental conditions such as anxiety, social isolation, and hyperactivity. As we have become more and more digitally dependent in our daily lives, there is an argument to be made that today’s youth who do suffer from such states risk an even greater level of exposure and vulnerability to internet addiction. This study aimed to see if any underlying connection exists between cyber addiction & ADHD/OCD/social anxiety, and whether that connection shows a greater potential for cyber addiction for these individuals. A 20-question survey constructed from 3 major scales for mental health and one scale for internet addiction was completed by 150 participants. After a careful analysis of the results, the study showed that a strong underlying connection does indeed exist between internet addiction and these 3 mental states: as one grows, so does the other. The findings of this research could prove beneficial to understanding proper diagnosis and treatment of both internet addiction and mental health in the future.

Sailesh will be online to field comments on April 16:
2-4pm EDT (PST: 11am-1pm, Africa/Europe: evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 2, 2021.