The relationship between depression, healthy lifestyle behaviors and internet addiction: a cross-sectional study of the athlete university students in Turkey

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Çelik D. Ö., Haney M.

Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol.14, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1222931
  • Journal Name: Frontiers in Psychiatry
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, EMBASE, Psycinfo, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: athlete students, depression, healthy lifestyle behaviors, internet addiction, Turkey
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: Mental health research exists for university students in the areas of prevalence and association of depression, internet addiction and healthy lifestyle behaviors. However, the studies examining prevalence rates and these relationships in athlete university students are needed. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between depression, healthy lifestyle behaviors and internet addiction among athlete university students in Turkey. Methods: A cross-sectional design was conducted, measuring depression using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, healthy lifestyle behaviors (HPLP-II), and internet addiction (YIAT-SF). Predictive factors associated with depressive symptoms were estimated using binary logistic regression. Results: Of the 501 participants, 61.3% were male, with a mean age of 21.45 years (SD: 3.19). Student-athletes were at risk of depressive symptoms (76.4%), internet addiction (34.4%) and had moderate healthy lifestyle behaviors (130.41 ± 22.93). No significant differences were found for age, smoking, time spent on social network, number of sports days, number of social networks use for depressive symptoms (p > 0.05), however significant differences were found for depressive symptoms by sex and living with family status (p < 0.05). Pathological internet addiction (OR: 12.74, 95% CI: 2.91–55.77) and low spiritual growth (OR: 0.854, 95% CI: 0.79–0.92) were found to be predictors of depressive symptoms within the athlete university students (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The athlete university students are at increased risk for depressive symptoms and internet addiction and decreased healthy lifestyle behaviors. It is essential to establish programs to improve the mental health of students in universities and to strengthen the psychological counseling services offered to students. These findings can assist universities in establishing effective measures to improve mental health outcomes.