Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/30165
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Problematic Internet use, excessive alcohol consumption, their comorbidity and cardiovascular and cortisol reactions to acute psychological stress in a student population
Author(s): Bibbey, Adam
Phillips, Anna C
Ginty, Annie T
Carroll, Douglas
Contact Email: a.c.whittaker@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: internet dependence
alcohol
comorbid dependence
cardiovascular reactivity
cortisol reactivity
acute stress
Issue Date: Jun-2015
Citation: Bibbey A, Phillips AC, Ginty AT & Carroll D (2015) Problematic Internet use, excessive alcohol consumption, their comorbidity and cardiovascular and cortisol reactions to acute psychological stress in a student population. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 4 (2), pp. 44-52. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.4.2015.006
Abstract: Background and aims Problematic Internet use and excessive alcohol consumption have been associated with a host of maladaptive outcomes. Further, low (blunted) cardiovascular and stress hormone (e.g. cortisol) reactions to acute psychological stress are a feature of individuals with a range of adverse health and behavioural characteristics, including dependencies such as tobacco and alcohol addiction. The present study extended this research by examining whether behavioural dependencies, namely problematic Internet use, excessive alcohol consumption, and their comorbidity would also be associated with blunted stress reactivity Methods A large sample of university students (N = 2313) were screened using Internet and alcohol dependency questionnaires to select four groups for laboratory testing: comorbid Internet and alcohol dependence (N = 17), Internet dependence (N = 17), alcohol dependence (N = 28), and non-dependent controls (N = 26). Cardiovascular activity and salivary cortisol were measured at rest and in response to a psychological stress protocol comprising of mental arithmetic and public speaking tasks. Results Neither problematic Internet behaviour nor excessive alcohol consumption, either individually or in combination, were associated with blunted cardiovascular or cortisol stress reactions. Discussion It is possible that problematic Internet behaviour and excessive alcohol consumption in a student population were not related to physiological reactivity as they may not reflect ingrained addictions but rather an impulse control disorder and binging tendency. Conclusions The present results serve to indicate some of the limits of the developing hypothesis that blunted stress reactivity is a peripheral marker of the central motivational dysregulation in the brain underpinning a wide range of health and behavioural problems.
DOI Link: 10.1556/2006.4.2015.006
Rights: © 2015 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.
Licence URL(s): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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