Shared psychological characteristics that are linked to aggression between patients with Internet addiction and those with alcohol dependence

  • Hwang J
  • Choi J
  • Gwak A
 et al. 
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Internet addiction (IA) is considered as one of behavioral addictions. Although common neurobiological mechanisms have been suggested to underlie behavioral addiction and substance dependence, few studies have directly compared IA with substance dependence, such as alcohol dependence (AD).

METHODS: We compared patients with IA, AD, and healthy controls (HC) in terms of the Five Factor Model of personality and with regard to impulsiveness, anger expression, and mood to explore psychological factors that are linked to aggression. All patients were treatment-seeking and had moderate-to-severe symptoms.

RESULTS: The IA and AD groups showed a lower level of agreeableness and higher levels of neuroticism, impulsivity, and anger expression compared with the HC group, which are characteristics related to aggression. The addiction groups showed lower levels of extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness and were more depressive and anxious than the HCs, and the severity of IA and AD symptoms was positively correlated with these types of psychopathology.

CONCLUSIONS: IA and AD are similar in terms of personality, temperament, and emotion, and they share common characteristics that may lead to aggression. Our findings suggest that strategies to reduce aggression in patients with IA are necessary and that IA and AD are closely related and should be dealt with as having a close nosological relationship.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aggression
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Anger
  • Impulsiveness
  • Internet addiction
  • Personality

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Authors

  • Jae Y. Hwang

  • Jung Seok Choi

  • Ah R. Gwak

  • Dawn Jung

  • Sam Wook Choi

  • Jaewon Lee

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