The association between harmful alcohol use and Internet addiction among college students: comparison of personality

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2009 Apr;63(2):218-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2009.01943.x.


Aims: This study aimed to (i) evaluate the association between Internet addiction and harmful alcohol use, and (ii) evaluate the associated personality characteristics of Internet addiction as well as harmful alcohol use.

Methods: A total of 2453 college students were invited to complete the Chen Internet Addiction Scale, Behavior Inhibition System and Behavior Approach System Scale(BIS/BAS scale), and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test from May 2005 to May 2006.

Results: The results demonstrated Internet addiction was associated with harmful alcohol use among college students. College students with Internet addiction had higher scores on the BIS and BAS fun-seeking subscales. However, college students with harmful alcohol use had higher scores on the BAS drive and fun-seeking subscales, and lower scores on the BIS subscale.

Conclusions: Internet addiction is associated with harmful alcohol use. Furthermore, fun seeking was the shared characteristic of these two problem behaviors and might contribute to the association. However, further studies are necessary to evaluate the underlying mechanisms accounting for the association between Internet addiction and harmful alcohol use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Students
  • Taiwan
  • Young Adult