The internet and smartphones have a strong potential for addiction. Excessive use of these technologies can have adverse effects on psychological well-being of the users.
The objective of the study is to find out the effects of internet addiction (IA) and smartphone addiction (SA) on psychological outcomes of dental students in an Indian institute.
In this cross-sectional study, 320 dental students were assessed for their internet and smartphone habits using the Young’s IA test (YIAT) and the SA scale (SAS), respectively. Psychological outcomes were evaluated using the insomnia severity index, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale.
The median YIAT score was 35 and interquartile range (IQR) of 24-49 with 23% subjects reporting potential IA. The median SAS score was 108 (IQR 91.25-128). Both IA and SA were significantly associated with participants’ year of the study. Significant correlations were observed between IA and SA with psychological parameters.
The association of IA and SA with psychological parameters shows how these habits can affect the users’ mental well-being. Public especially young adults should be made aware about potential harmful effects of the internet and smartphones.