Prevalence, correlates, and network analysis of Internet addiction symptoms among Chinese pregnant and postpartum women

Yuan Yang, Dong Ying Zhang, Yi Lin Li, Meng Zhang, Pei Hong Wang, Xiao Hua Liu, Li Na Ge, Wen Xuan Lin, Yang Xu, Ya Lan Zhang, Feng Juan Li, Xu Juan Xu, Hong He Wu, Teris Cheung, Chee H. Ng, Hai Xin Bo, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Excessive Internet use is a common health problem globally. This study aimed to assess the prevalence, correlates, and network structure of Internet addiction symptoms (Internet addiction hereafter) among Chinese pregnant and postpartum women. Methods: This was a multicenter cross-sectional study using Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) to evaluate Internet addiction and quality of life (QOL), respectively. Univariate analyses, multivariate logistic regression analyses, and network analyses were performed. Results: Of a total of 1,060 women who completed the study, 320 (30.19%, 95% CI=27.42%-32.96%) women reported Internet addiction during or after pregnancy. Women with previous adverse pregnancy experiences (OR=1.831, P=0.001) and physical comorbidities (OR=1.724, P=0.004) had a higher likelihood of developing Internet addiction. Internet addiction was significantly associated with poor QOL in all domains. Network analyses revealed that IAT item 16 (request an extension for longer time spent online) was the most central symptom in the analyses, and also one of the strongest bridging symptoms linking the Internet addiction and QOL communities. Limitations: This was a cross-sectional study, all study findings were based on self-reported data, and possible recall bias and selection bias may exist. Conclusion: Internet addiction is common among Chinese pregnant and postpartum women, and is significantly associated with lower QOL. Effective strategies, especially focusing on central symptoms, are needed to reduce the impact of Internet addiction and improve QOL in pregnant and postpartum women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Internet addiction
  • Postpartum
  • Pregnant
  • Quality of life
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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