Data on Internet addiction (IA) and its association with personality disorder are rare. Previous studies are largely restricted to clinical samples and insufficient measurement of IA.
Cross-sectional analysis data are based on a German sub-sample ( n = 168; 86 males; 71 meeting criteria for IA) with increased levels of excessive Internet use derived from a general population sample ( n = 15,023). IA was assessed with a comprehensive standardized interview using the structure of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and the criteria of Internet Gaming Disorder as suggested in DSM-5. Impulsivity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and self-esteem were assessed with the widely used questionnaires.
Participants with IA showed higher frequencies of personality disorders (29.6%) compared to those without IA (9.3%; p < .001). In males with IA, Cluster C personality disorders were more prevalent than among non-addicted males. Compared to participants who had IA only, lower rates of remission of IA were found among participants with IA and additional cluster B personality disorder. Personality disorders were significantly associated with IA in multivariate analysis. Discussion and conclusion: Comorbidity of IA and personality disorders must be considered in prevention and treatment.