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 lack of agreement that exists as to the exact nature and manifestation of internet addiction forces us to pool together the available studies and bring forward a model that best represents the reality. The available studies, which point out that internet addiction is a psychological disorder (Cao and Su 2007), are largely peripheral and extraneous to the core issue of the development and dynamics of this behavioral disorder. Widyanto and Griffiths (2006) have classified the empirical research so far available into five areas of (1) comparative studies that distinguish between internet users and excessive users (2) investigation into vulnerable groups of internet abuse (3) studies of the psychometric properties of excessive internet use (4) case studies that focus on excessive users and the treatment methods (5) and finally correlational studies that examine the relationship between excessive internet use and other behaviors. "
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    ABSTRACT: Internet addiction, a recent clinical disorder is not well understood in its entirety as the researches so far conducted have not unraveled the nature and dynamics of this problem. The causative dynamics proposed in this model analyses the frequency of internet use based on the combined effects of addictive tendency, level of computer knowledge, the way the chance factor operates and the continuity of use of internet. The high frequency of use and subsequent addiction is contingent upon adequate computer knowledge, no chance factor, continuous use and high addictive tendency. Further analysis dwells upon the elaboration of the nature of addictive tendency which brings out the significance of the cognitive, motivational and personality processes in drawing individuals to internet in a pathological manner. Keywords: Internet addiction Addictive tendency Cognition Motivation Personality
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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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