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Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2012 May;15(5):270-3. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2011.0548. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Association between problematic Internet use and impulse control disorders among Iranian university students.

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  • 1Neuroscience Research Centre, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Jahad Blvd./Ebn Sina Avenue, Kerman, Iran.


Previous studies have examined the relationship between problematic Internet use (PIU) with pathological gambling and impulsivity. However, few studies have investigated the association between PIU and other impulse control disorders. This study aimed to assess whether PIU is related to compulsive buying, kleptomania, trichotillomania, intermittent explosive disorder, and pyromania, among a sample of Iranian university students. A cross-sectional study design was used among a random sample of (n=950) university students. Self-reported questionnaires, including demographic, Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ) and Minnesota Impulse Disorders Interview were utilized. The prevalence of PIU was 21.2 percent. Students with diagnosis of either compulsive buying, or intermittent explosive disorder, or pyromania had significantly higher scores on PIUQ compared to the students without the diagnosis. Multivariate regression analyses indicated that in the male gender, the diagnosis of either compulsive buying or intermittent explosive disorder were significant predictors of the risk of the PIU. The results support the proposal that PIU should be considered as a spectrum of impulse control disorder.

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