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An Assessment of Adolescent Internet Addiction Problems Related to Depression, Social Anxiety and Peer Relationship

Other Title
청소년 인터넷 중독증과 우울, 사회적 불안, 또래 관계 문제와의 연관성 조사
이, 명수; 오, 은영; 조, 선미; 홍, 만제; 문, 재석
Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association, 40(4):616-626, 2001
Journal Title
Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association; 신경정신의학
Objective : The purpose of this study was to survey the present conditions of adolescents´ Internet use and to investigate the relations of Internet addiction to depression, social anxiety and problems in peer relationship.

Method : Eight hundred and sixty-nine high-school students(male/female=371/498) were included in the study, each of whom completed a standard questionnaire related to Internet use determined. We assessed internet addiction and depressive symptoms of adolescents using Youngs Internet Addiction Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory(BDI), respectively. Social Avoidance and Distress Scale were employed to measure social anxiety and avoidance. Fear of Negative Evaluation-Brief Scale was for fear of negative evaluation by other people. An Index of Peer relation was devoted to problems in peer relationships. Chi-square test and ANOVA were used to identify the present conditions of Internet addiction and to analyze the relations of Internet addiction with depression, social anxiety and problems in peer relationship.

Results : 1) Of these 869 subjects, 371(42.7%) were male students and 498(57.3%) were female. The mean age was 16.27 years(SD=0.82) and there was no significant difference between two sex groups. 2) Of these 869 subjects, 291(33.4%) showed addictive tendency and among them 18 subjects(2.07%) were classified into obvious addiction group. In this study, we defined upper 30% of Internet addiction scores as ´addiction group and lower 30% as ´normal control group´. 3) Male students had significantly higher mean scores of Internet addiction scale than females and there was significantly higher rates of male students in addiction group. 4) Comparing two groups, there was no statistically significant difference in terms of the preferred types of Internet media, although addiction groups tended to use chatting and E-mail more, normal control group tended to use information search more. And there was no significant difference regarding games on the Internet. 5) There was more depressive tendency in line with more sensitive response against negative-evaluation and more problems of peer relationship in addiction group. However, there was no significant difference regarding anxiety on social situation.

Conclusion : Compared to previous studies, findings from this study showed that the rates classified as the group of obvious Internet addiction were relatively lower. However, including those who had tendency of Internet addiction, about 30% of all subjects had problems related to Internet use. In addition, depression or relationship problems were triggered more severely in Internet addiction group. With these findings in mind we finally suggest that therapeutic approach to comorbid psychopathology as well as Internet addiction itself should be required.
Internet addictionDepressionReer relationshipSocial anxiety
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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences
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