The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between problematic internet use and eating attitudes in a group of university students.
The study sample consisted of 314 students attending programs at the faculties of education, medicine and communications at the Karadeniz Technical University in Turkey. One hundred forty-seven (46.8 %) were male and 167 (53.2 %) female. The Problematic Internet Use Scale was used to measure problematic internet use levels among university students and the Eating Attitudes Test to determine anorexia nervosa symptoms. Additionally, a Personal Data Form was used to determine age, gender, faculty attended and computer ownership. Data were analyzed on SPSS 15.00. Pearson’s product moments correlation coefficient, multiple linear regression analysis, the independent t test and one-way ANOVA were used for data analysis.
The research findings showed that 46.8 % of students were female and 53.2 % male. Mean age was 20.65 (SD 1.42). Analysis showed a significant positive correlation between problematic internet use and eating attitudes (r = 0.77, p < 0.01). Problematic internet use was found to be a significant predictor of eating attitudes. The results also showed a significant difference in problematic internet use with regard to program variables [F (2,311) = 102.79]. There were no significant differences in problematic internet use in terms of gender or computer ownership.
The results of this study indicate that problematic internet use is significantly correlated with eating disorders, that problematic internet use does not vary on the basis of gender or computer ownership and that variations arise in problematic internet use depending on the faculty attended.