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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2008 Feb;62(1):84-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2007.01779.x.

Correlation between addictive behaviors and mental health in university students.

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  • 1Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.



The present study aims to clarify the relationships of addictive behaviors and addiction overlap to stress, acceptance from others and purpose in life.


A survey was conducted on 691 students at eight universities. The Eating Attitude Test-20 was used to identify students with food addiction or food addictive tendencies. The Kurihama Alcoholism Screening Test was used to identify students with alcohol addiction or alcohol addictive tendencies. The Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence was used to identify students with nicotine addictive tendencies or nicotine addiction. The Visual Analog Scale was used to assess stress and acceptance from others. The Purpose in Life Test was used to measure meaning and purpose in life. Results were compared between students with addictive behaviors, with addictive tendencies and without addictive behaviors.


Significant differences among the three groups were observed for stress, acceptance from others, and Purpose in Life scores for students with food and nicotine addiction, but no significant differences existed in relation to alcohol addiction. In addition, 28.8% of students displayed addictive behaviors in one of the three areas (food, alcohol or nicotine), 8.5% displayed addictive behaviors in two of the three areas, and 0.4% had addictive behaviors in all three areas. Significant differences existed in stress and acceptance from others among students with one addictive behavior, >or=two addictive behaviors and no addictive behaviors. However, no significant differences existed in Purpose in Life scores with respect to overlapping addictions.


The results suggest a relationship between mental health, addictive behaviors and overlapping addiction among university students.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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