Internet addiction among Chinese adolescents: Prevalence and psychological features

Department of Psychiatry, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, no. 139 Renmin Road, Changsha, Hunan Province 410011, China.
Child Care Health and Development (Impact Factor: 1.69). 05/2007; 33(3):275-81. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2006.00715.x
Source: PubMed


To investigate the prevalence of Internet addiction among Chinese adolescents and to explore the psychological features associated with Internet addiction.
A total of 2620 high school students from four high schools in Changsha City were surveyed using Diagnostic Questionnaire for Internet Addiction (YDQ), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (the edition for children, EPQ), Time Management Disposition Scale (TMDS) and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The mean age of whole sample was 15.19 years (ranging from 12 years to 18 years). According to the modified YDQ criteria by Beard, 64 students who were diagnosed as Internet addiction (the mean age: 14.59 years) and 64 who were diagnosed as being normal in Internet usage (the mean age: 14.81 years) were included in a case-control study.
The rate of Internet use among the surveyed adolescents was 88%, among which the incidence rate of Internet addiction was 2.4%. The Internet addiction group had significantly higher scores on the EPQ subscales of neuroticism, psychoticism, and lie than the control group (P < 0.05). The Internet addiction group scored lower than the control group on the TMDS subscales of sense of control over time, sense of value of time, and sense of time efficacy (P < 0.05). Compared with the control group, the Internet addiction group had also significantly higher scores on the SDQ subscales of emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity, total difficulties and lower scores on the subscale of prosocial behaviours (P < 0.05).
The present study suggests that Internet addiction is not rare among Chinese adolescents. In addition, adolescents with Internet addiction possess different psychological features when compared with those who use the Internet less frequently.

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    • "The latter percentage is lower than that of adolescents in Florence, Italy in 2006, which was 5.4% (Pallanti et al., 2006), and in mainland China in 2011, which was 8.1% (Cao et al., 2011). However, it is higher than that of Changsha, China, in 2007, which was 2.4% (Cao & Su, 2007). A word of caution though, the research findings referred to in these comparisons and following ones possibly stemmed from unrepresentative samples of their populations due to sampling error. "
    • "The widespread use of the Internet helped people worldwide to connect, communicate and get information. Although the Internet made many things easier, a rising number of people, in particular adolescents (Cao and Su, 2007; Kaltiala-Heino et al., 2004), report problems in limiting their Internet use (IU) (Ko et al., 2012). Problematic IU (PIU), often coined Internet addiction (IA), is a growing problem in society, although there are some controversies concerning the amount of affected users (e.g., Widyanto and Griffiths, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: As empathy has not been investigated in the context of problematic use of the Internet, we conducted a study to test for a potential link. In samples from China (N=438) and Germany (N=202), two self-report measures for empathic behavior and one self-report measure for problematic Internet use (PIU) were administered in adolescents/students. Across both cultures lower empathy was associated with more PIU. The present study underlines the importance to take into account empathy related questionnaires for a better understanding of Internet overuse in the future. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ajp.2015.06.019
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    • "Internet addiction, also described as pathological Internet use, is marked by an inability to control Internet use that eventually leads to psychological, social, and/or work difficulties. International epidemiological studies have demonstrated that Internet addiction is a public health concern with prevalence rates ranging from 8% to 13% among college students [2] and 1.4% to 17.9% among adolescents [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]. People with Internet addiction often develop a range of comorbid psychological symptoms [8], such as depression [9], attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder [9] [10], social isolation, and low self-esteem [7] [11] [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This study examined the association between stress-related coping strategies and Internet addiction and the moderating effect of depression in a sample of Taiwanese college students. Method: A total of 500 college students (238 men and 262 women) participated in this study. Internet addiction was assessed using the Chen Internet Addiction Scale. Participants' stress coping strategies and depressive symptoms were measured using the Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced and the Beck Depression Inventory-II, respectively. We used t and chi-square tests to examine differences in demographic characteristics, depression, and stress coping strategies between participants with and without Internet addiction. Significant variables were used in a logistic regression model to examine the association between stress coping strategies and Internet addiction and the moderating effect of depression on the association. Results: Results indicated that use of restraint coping was negatively associated with Internet addiction (odds ratio [OR]=0.886, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.802-0.977), whereas denial (OR=1.177, 95% CI: 1.029-1.346) and mental disengagement (OR=2.673, 95% CI: 1.499-4.767) were positively associated with Internet addiction. Depression had a moderating effect on the association between denial and Internet addiction (OR=0.701, 95% CI: 0.530-0.927). Conclusions: Stress coping strategies and depression are important factors to evaluate when developing intervention programs targeting college undergraduate students with Internet addiction.
    Comprehensive psychiatry 06/2015; 62. DOI:10.1016/j.comppsych.2015.06.004 · 2.25 Impact Factor
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