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In memory of Dr. Kimberly S. Young: The story of a pioneer

In memory of Dr. Kimberly S. Young: The story of a pioneer
General Psychology: Cognition and Center for Behavioral Addiction Research (CeBAR), University of Duisburg-Essen,
Duisburg, Germany
Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Essen, Germany
Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Child Study, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, Wetherseld, CT, USA
Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, CT, USA
(Received: March 15, 2019; accepted: March 15, 2019)
Dr. Kimberly S. Young passed away on February 28, 2019.
She was 53 years of age when she died after a three-and-a-
half-year battle with cancer. She will be missed by many.
Dr. Young graduated in 1988 with a bachelors degree in
Business Administration from the University at Buffalo.
Subsequently, she received a masters degree in Clinical
Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and com-
pleted her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1994. After
having several post-doctoral positions at the Universities of
Rochester and Pittsburgh/Bradford, she became a professor
at St. Bonaventure University in Olean in 2002. She joined
the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure
University in 2006 and became the Director of the Masters
Program of Strategic Leadership.
As early as 1995, shortly after completing her PhD, she
started publishing articles in international peer-reviewed
journals on the topic of Internet addiction. In the same year,
she also established the Center for Internet Addiction. She
was one of the rst researchers interested in understanding
the psychological mechanisms underlying problematic or
addictive use of the Internet. Dr. Young developed the
Internet Addiction Test (IAT), a 20-item scale for assessing
features of Internet addiction. The IAT has been translated
into various languages and used in several studies world-
wide. With her comprehensive publications in books and
articles, she became a pioneer of the rapidly growing and
changing eld of Internet addiction research. She was also
dedicated to transferring emerging knowledge on Internet
addiction into clinical practice. She was committed not only
to diagnosing individuals with Internet addiction, but also to
providing and optimizing treatment. Inspired by cognitive-
behavioral therapy (CBT) used in the treatment of other
behaviors and disorders, she developed a CBT model for
treating people with Internet addiction, which she named
CBT-IA. It has been, and is still, a foundation and inspira-
tion for many new developments to follow. She also
founded the rst US-based inpatient hospital clinic for
Internet addiction at the Bradford Regional Medical Center.
* Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Matthias Brand; General Psy-
chology: Cognition and Center for Behavioral Addiction Research
(CeBAR), University of Duisburg-Essen, Forsthausweg 2, 47057
Duisburg, Germany; Phone: +49 203 3792541; Fax: +49 203
3791846; E-mail:
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© 2019 The Author(s)
MEMORIAL Journal of Behavioral Addictions
DOI: 10.1556/2006.8.2019.14
Later in her career, she also developed prevention programs
to help parents to support their children in using the Internet
in healthy and functional ways.
Dr. Young was a member of editorial boards of several
journals, including the Journal of Behavioral Addictions,
and she was a member of the American Psychological
Association. She was invited as a keynote speaker to
several international conferences, for example, the Inter-
national Conference on Behavioral Addictions in Budapest
(Hungary), the Conference on Digital Culture in Seoul
(Korea), and the International Congress on Internet Addic-
tion Disorders in Milan (Italy).
Dr. Young published many articles that have inuenced
the eld of Internet addiction research and treatment. She
also published several books and book chapters on media
use and Internet addiction that have targeted broad
audiences. In 1998, her book Caught in the Netwas a
bestseller that has been translated into many languages. She
also published creative ction including her novel in 2013
entitled The Eighth Wonder,which is a love story. In her
last year, Kimberly published her memoirs entitled, Build-
ing Mountains from Dust.In this book, she describes her
battle with cancer and the difcult times she encountered
when her beloved husband for almost 20 years, James (Jim)
OMara, passed away in February of 2017.
In her publications, presentations, and media interviews,
she provided a voice for individuals who struggled with
problematic use of the Internet, long before the rst steps
were made to ofcially recognize types and patterns of
Internet use as psychiatric disorders. She clearly has her
own place in history. Collaborating with her was a gift. Her
death at an early age is tragic. She will be missed immensely
and will not be forgotten as a pioneer and as an amiable,
creative, and passionate person. Her impact on research and
society will persist.
Funding sources: There is no funding associated with this
Authorscontribution: Drs. MB and MNP worked collabo-
ratively on this manuscript. MB completed the rst draft and
MNP provided feedback and added additional content.
Conict of interest: Drs. MB and MNP declare no conict of
interest to disclose related to this manuscript.
Young, K. S. (1996). Addictive use of the Internet: A case that
breaks the stereotype. Psychological Reports, 79(3), 899902.
Young, K. S. (1998a). Caught in the net: How to recognize the
signs of Internet addiction And a winning strategy for
recovery. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Young, K. S. (1998b). Internet addiction: The emergence of a
new clinical disorder. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 1(3),
237244. doi:10.1089/cpb.1998.1.237
Young, K. S. (2004). Internet addiction: A new clinical phenome-
non and its consequences. American Behavioral Scientist,
48(4), 402415.doi:10.1177/0002764204270278
Young, K. S. (2007). Cognitive behavior therapy with Internet
addicts: Treatment outcomes and implications. CyberPsycho-
logy & Behavior, 10(5), 671679. doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.
Young, K. S. (2008). Internet sex addiction: Risk factors, stages of
development, and treatment. American Behavioral Scientist,
52(1), 2137. doi:10.1177/0002764208321339
Young, K. S. (2009). Internet addiction: Diagnosis and treatment
considerations. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy,
39(4), 241246. doi:10.1007/s10879-009-9120-x
Young, K. S. (2011). CBT-IA: The rst treatment model to address
Internet addiction. Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 25, 304312.
Young, K. S. (2013). Treatment outcomes using CBT-IA with
Internet-addicted patients. Journal of Behavioral Addictions,
2(4), 209215. doi:10.1556/JBA.2.2013.4.3
Young, K. S., & Brand, M. (2017). Merging theoretical models
and therapy approaches in the context of Internet gaming
disorder: A personal perspective. Frontiers in Psychology:
Psychopathology, 8, 1853. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01853
Young, K. S., Pistner, M., OMara, J., & Buchanan, J. (1999).
Cyber disorders: The mental health concern for the new
millennium. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 2(5), 475479.
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Brand and Potenza
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Anecdotal reports indicated that some on-line users were becoming addicted to the Internet in much the same way that others became addicted to drugs or alcohol, which resulted in academic, social, and occupational impairment. However, research among sociologists, psychologists, or psychiatrists has not formally identified addictive use of the Internet as a problematic behavior. This study investigated the existence of Internet addiction and the extent of problems caused by such potential misuse. Of all the diagnoses referenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1995), Pathological Gambling was viewed as most akin to the pathological nature of Internet use. By using Pathological Gambling as a model, addictive Internet use can be defined as an impulse-control disorder that does not involve an intoxicant. Therefore, this study developed a brief eight-item questionnaire referred to as a Diagnostic Questionnaire (DQ), which modified criteria for pathological gambling to provide a screening instrument for classification of participants. On the basis of this criteria, case studies of 396 dependent Internet users (Dependents) and 100 nondependent Internet users (Nondependents) were classified. Qualitative analyses suggest significant behavioral and functional usage differences between the two groups such as the types of applications utilized, the degree of difficulty controlling weekly usage, and the severity of problems noted. Clinical and social implications of pathological Internet use and future directions for research are discussed.
Internet sex addiction typically involves viewing, downloading, and trading online pornography or engagement in adult fantasy role-play rooms. Adult Web sites comprise the largest segment of electronic commerce catering to a wide variety of sexual interests. Given the widespread availability of sexually explicit material online, Internet sex addiction is the most common form of problem online behavior among users. Using research and illustrative case studies, this chapter explores how sexually explicit material enters our homes, schools, and business, and examines the risk factors that lead to addiction. As new users are more at risk to become hooked on online porn or adult sex chat rooms, this chapter presents a model that shows the progressive stages of development underlying Internet sex addiction and how the Internet enables sexually explicit behavior to develop. Finally, this chapter reviews current treatment practices associated with the disorder and the implications of new mobile technologies.
New research identifies online users who became hooked on chat rooms, interactive games, and even eBay only to see their lives become increasingly unmanageable because of the Internet. Prior research explores the addictive qualities sustaining drug and alcohol abuse, pathological gambling, and even video game addiction; however, given the relative newness of Internet addiction, little is understood about the habit-forming nature of the Internet and its potential for abuse. As the Internet permeates our lives at home, school, and work, this article takes a closer look at how the Internet can create marital-, academic-, and job-related problems. This article outlines a workable definition of Internet addiction and as a clinical new phenomenon, explores the major consequences created by Internet addiction, including online affairs, student Internet abuse, and employee Internet abuse. Future areas for research and practice are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Internet addiction is a new and often unrecognized clinical disorder that can cause relational, occupational, and social problems. Pathological gambling is compared to problematic internet use because of overlapping diagnostic criteria. As computers are used with great frequency, detection and diagnosis of internet addiction is often difficult. Symptoms of a possible problem may be masked by legitimate use of the internet. Clinicians may overlook asking questions about computer use. To help clinicians identify internet addiction in practice, this paper provides an overview of the problem and the various subtypes that have been identified. The paper reviews conceptualizations of internet addiction, various forms that the disorder takes, and treatment considerations for working with this emergent client population.
Anecdotal evidence has suggested that mental health practitioners' report increased caseloads of clients whose primary complaint involves the Internet. However, little is known about the incidence, associated behaviors, attitudes of practitioners, and interventions involved related to this relatively new phenomenon. Therefore, this study surveyed therapists who have treated clients suffering from cyber-related problems to gather such outcome information. Respondents reported an average caseload of nine clients who they classified as Internet-addicted, with a range between 2 and 50 clients treated within the past year. Five general subtypes of Internet addiction were categorized based on the most problematic types of online applications, and they include addictions to Cybersex, Cyber-relationships, online stock trading or gambling, information surfing, and computer games. Treatment strategies included cognitive-behavioral approaches, sexual offender therapy, marital and family therapy, social skills training, and pharmacological interventions. Based on their client encounters, efforts to initiate support groups and recovery programs specializing in the treatment of Internet addiction were being considered. Finally, based upon the findings, this article examines the impact of cyberdisorders on future research, treatment, and public policy issues for the new millennium.