Depression and Social Phobia Fuel Teen Internet Addiction

by Tanya Thomas on  October 9, 2009 at 8:32 AM Child Health News
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 Depression and Social Phobia Fuel Teen Internet Addiction
A recent report suggests that teenagers who have psychiatric symptoms such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social phobia, hostility and depression could be more prone to develop an Internet addiction.

The study underlined that although the Internet has become one of the most significant information resources for adolescents, addiction to the Internet can negatively impact school performance, family relationships and adolescents' emotional state.

"This phenomenon has been described as Internet addiction or problematic Internet use and classified as a possible behaviour addiction," wrote the authors.

"Identification of the risk factors for Internet addiction is therefore of clinical significance for the prevention of, and early intervention into, Internet addiction in adolescents," they added.

Dr. Chih-Hung Ko, of Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Taiwan, and colleagues examined the relationship between psychiatric symptoms such as ADHD, social phobia and hostility and Internet addiction in 2,293 seventh-graders (1,179 boys and 1,114 girls) from ten junior high schools in southern Taiwan.

They also noted differences in the predictive value of these psychiatric symptoms between males and females.

Psychiatric symptoms were determined through self-reported questionnaires.

They assessed Internet addiction by the Chen Internet Addiction Scale (CIAS) at baseline and at six, 12 and 24 months with scores ranging from 26 to 104.

Participants scoring 64 or higher were classified as being addicted to the Internet.

Of all participants, 233 (10.8 percent) were classified as having Internet addiction and 1,929 (89.2 percent) were classified as not having an Internet addiction.

The researchers reported that although depression, ADHD, social phobia and hostility were found to predict the occurrence of Internet addiction in the two-year follow-up, depression and social phobia predicted Internet addiction among only female adolescents.

Besides, the most significant predictors of Internet addiction in male and female adolescents were hostility and ADHD, respectively.

"These results suggest that ADHD, hostility, depression and social phobia should be detected early on and intervention carried out to prevent Internet addiction in adolescents. Also, sex differences in psychiatric comorbidity should be taken into consideration when developing prevention and intervention strategies for Internet addiction," concluded the authors.

The study has been published in the latest issue of Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Source: ANI

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According to the recent study done by researchers it has been analyzed that kids and teens that spend long time of internet are more likely to be affected from severe depression, stress and anxiety like problems. Compulsive internet use makes the teenagers web addicted. There are many residential treatment centers dedicated to help internet addicted kids to overcome stressing issues. Counseling programs and proper supervision support children to achieve balanced life. The other negative aspect of extreme internet addiction is that adolescents become family and socially isolated and like to spend time alone on computer.


We are living in an internet era and are dependent on it for our personal and professional work. But over involvement in internet activities like chatting, mailing can make a person addict. Internet addiction symptoms can be found in most of the youth today. They feel lonely without internet and become aggressive when anyone disturbs them while working on internet.


I agree that the internet can be a safe haven of sorts for social phobic people. they can take time to think of how they want themselves to be percived by others. lack of personal contact eliminates the urgency of the situation by giving them control over what image they put out to others. I can see it becoming quite addictive for these individuals because , they get human contact in a way but do not have to be seen. they can make up whatever persona they choose to and no one can feel thier air of tension or anxiety. In the internet world you are who you choose to be.

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