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On-line version ISSN 1886-144XPrint version ISSN 0214-9915


HERRUZO, Carlos et al. Suicidal behavior and problematic Internet use in college students. Psicothema [online]. 2023, vol.35, n.1, pp.77-86.  Epub Feb 12, 2024. ISSN 1886-144X.


Suicidal behavior, especially in young populations such as university students, is currently one of the most concerning health problems worldwide, suicide being the second leading cause of death among students. Although literature is still scarce, one of the risk factors that correlates the most with suicidal behavior in young people appears to be problematic internet use (PIU). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between PIU and suicidal behavior in a Spanish university population.


An ex post facto prospective design was used with a sample of 1,386 Spanish university students (68.7% women and 31.3% men). PIU was assessed by means of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and psychological problems by means of the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation-Outcome Measure (CORE-OM).


The results confirm the relationship between PIU and suicidal behavior, principally alongside those of social isolation and depression, this risk being 3.78 times higher among women with PIU and 5.58 times higher in men.


PIU appears as a risk factor for suicidal behavior that must be taken into account together with social isolation, subjective distress and depression.

Keywords : Suicidal Behavior; Suicidal Ideation; Problematic Internet Use; Psychological Problems; College Students.

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