Introduction: Today the prevalence of Internet addiction in youth could be a serious crisis as tantamount as drug addiction in personal life, family relationships, social behavior and academic status. Studies show that there is a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and social skills. Emotional intelligence includes understanding, reasoning and handling our emotion. Non-cognitive skills enable us to get success in dealing with environmental conditions. The vulnerability of high emotional intelligent person is much more than others; the aim of this study was examining the relationship between Internet addiction, virtual environments and emotional intelligence.
Methods: This cross–sectional survey was conducted on 201 students who were randomly selected. The survey instrument was a triploid questionnaire: demographic information including age, sex, etc.,Young's Internet Addiction Test (IAT), which contains 20 questions about symptoms of Internet addiction graded by Likert scale score of 1 (never) to grade 5 (always), emotional intelligence questionnaire including 33 questions (Schutte 1997) about three categories of emotion: perception, planning and productivity. The data analyzed by computer software SPSS 16 (ANOVA, 95% confidence).
Results: According to findings of this study, %38.3 of students is Internet addicted in general, %43.8 had mild dependency, %15.9 depended to medium and %2 had severe dependency. The average score of emotional intelligence among college students was %118.99 with a standard deviation of 21.12. There was an inverse relationship between the severity of Internet addiction and emotional intelligence.
Conclusion: Since prevention is better than cure, we could replace proper use of computers, Internet and its facility by wrong ways of using the Internet, which can affect social dimensions of personality, through education in family and training centers.
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