Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 128-135

Problematic internet use, mental health, and sleep quality among medical students: A path-analytic model

1 MPH Department, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2 Research Center for Traditional Medicine and History of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Alireza Salehi
Research Center for Traditional Medicine and History of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_238_19

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Background: There is a close association between problematic Internet use (PIU), sleep quality, and mental health problems. To evaluate which mental health problem is more associated with coexistence of both PIU and poor sleep quality, we hypothesized a model in which PIU influences sleep quality directly and also through the mediation of three different mental health problems. Methods: A total of 402 medical students completed the Persian versions of the Internet Addiction Test, 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. A maximum likelihood structural equation model was used to assess the hypothesis. For assessment of the indirect effects, bootstrapping was conducted. Results: PIU predicted poor sleep quality through indirect pathways by the mediation of mental health problems (P < 0.001). Poor sleep quality were associated with depressive symptoms (P < 0.001), anxiety (P = 0.035), and stress (P < 0.001); however, the direct pathways from stress and anxiety to poor sleep quality were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Findings extend our previous knowledge about the interrelationships between PIU, sleep disturbances, and mental health problems by unveiling the key role of depressive symptoms.

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