Teen Internet Addiction

Friday, January 15, 2010

Certain psychiatric conditions make teens more prone to Internet addiction, according to a Taiwanese study. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this studys conclusions in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Children and teens with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, hostility, social phobia or depression may be more likely to become addicted to the Internet.

Researchers in Taiwan examined the relationship between psychiatric symptoms and Internet addiction in more than 2,000 junior high students over a period of two years. About 11 percent of study participants were classified as having an Internet addiction in the initial assessment.

The researchers found that being male, playing online games and using the Internet daily for more than 20 hours a week were risk factors for addiction.

Over the two-year follow-up, ADHD was the most significant predictor, followed by hostility. For boys, hostility was the greatest predictor, and for girls ADHD was the greatest predictor. Social phobia and depression were predictors only in girls.

Online addiction can be destructive and should be taken seriously, researchers say in their report. The addiction can hurt school performance, family relationships and adolescents emotional state.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.