Article

Potential markers for problematic Internet use: A telephone survey of 2,513 adults

California State University, San Marcos, San Marcos, California, United States
CNS spectrums (Impact Factor: 2.71). 10/2006; 11(10):750-5.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The Internet has positively altered many aspects of life. However, for a subset of users, the medium may have become a consuming problem that exhibits features of impulse control disorders recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.
This is the first large-scale epidemiological study of problematic Internet use through a random-digit-dial telephone survey of 2,513 adults in the United States. Given the lack of validated criteria, survey questions were extrapolated from established diagnostic criteria for impulse control disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and substance abuse. Four possible diagnostic criteria sets were generated. The least restrictive set required the respondent to report an unsuccessful effort to reduce Internet use or a history of remaining online longer than intended, Internet use interfering with relationships, and a preoccupation with Internet use when offline.
The response rate was 56.3%. Interviews averaged 11.3 minutes in duration. From 3.7% to 13% of respondents endorsed > or =1 markers consistent with problematic Internet use. The least restrictive proposed diagnostic criteria set yielded a prevalence of problematic Internet use of 0.7%.
Potential markers of problematic Internet use seem present in a sizeable proportion of adults. Future studies should delineate whether problematic Internet use constitutes a pathological behavior that meets criteria for an independent disorder, or represents a symptom of other psychopathologies.

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    • "users in the United States and 6.4% of adolescent internet users in Australia endorse at least one problem, similar to problems related to substance use disorders associated with excessive internet use (Aboujaoude et al., 2006;King et al., 2013). Accordingly, problems related to excessive internet use typically consist of unsuccessful attempts to reduce use, interference with relationships, and a pre-occupation with internet use when offline (Aboujaoude et al., 2006;Fu et al., 2010;Kuss, 2013;Kuss et al., 2014;Tao et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Excessive internet use has been linked to psychopathology. Therefore, understanding the genetic and environmental risks underpinning internet use and their relation to psychopathology is important. This study aims to explore the genetic and environmental etiology of internet use measures and their associations with internalizing disorders and substance use disorders. The sample included 2,059 monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) young adult twins from the Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study (BLTS). Younger participants reported more frequent internet use, while women were more likely to use the internet for interpersonal communication. Familial aggregation in 'frequency of internet use' was entirely explained by additive genetic factors accounting for 41% of the variance. Familial aggregation in 'frequency of use after 11 pm', 'using the internet to contact peers', and 'using the internet primarily to access social networking sites' was attributable to varying combinations of additive genetic and shared environmental factors. In terms of psychopathology, there were no significant associations between internet use measures and major depression (MD), but there were positive significant associations between 'frequency of internet use' and 'frequency of use after 11 pm' with social phobia (SP). 'Using the internet to contact peers' was positively associated with alcohol abuse, whereas 'using the internet to contact peers' and 'using the internet primarily to access social networking sites' were negatively associated with cannabis use disorders and nicotine symptoms. Individual differences in internet use can be attributable to varying degrees of genetic and environmental risks. Despite some significant associations of small effect, variation in internet use appears mostly unrelated to psychopathology.
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    • "Internet addiction is classified within the behavioural addictions, whichshows common characteristics with other types of addictions, such as loss of control, the appearance of abstinence syndrome, a strong psychological dependence , interference in daily life activities, and loss of interest in other activities (Echeburúa & Amor, 2001). Although the expression Internet addiction is constantly alluded to, there is not a consensus regarding this phenomenon in the scientific community and various terms can be found in scientific literature such as " Internet Addiction " (Young, 1998), " Computer Addiction " (Charlton, 2002), " Compulsive Internet Use " (Greenfield, 1999; Meerker, Van den Eijden & Garretsen, 2006), " Pathological Internet Use " (Davis, 2001), " Problematic Internet Use " (Aboujaoude, Koran & Serpe, 2006; Caplan, 2003), " Unregulated Internet Usage " (La Rose, Lin & Eastin, 2003). In any case, they tend to be referring to the same phenomenon, even with different terms. "
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    • "Numerous studies of the past decade point to Internet addictive behavior as a growing health issue in different parts of the population. Prevalence estimations range up to 6.7% within adolescents and young adults in southeast Asia [1], 0.6% in the United States [2], and between 1 and 2.1% in European countries [3] [4] with adolescents showing even increased prevalence rates (e.g., [4]). Based on these observations, the APA has decided to include Internet Gaming Disorder—one common subtype of Internet addiction (IA)—into section III of the DSM-5 " as a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion in the main book as a formal disorder " [5]. "
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