Study: Internet Addicts Are Like Drug Addicts
By Kevin Parrish, published on October 6, 2009
" What are you addicted to?
Researchers in Taiwan have finally labeled the mental red flags that may possibly lead to a future of "Internet addiction," especially with young adults. The team hopes that this list will provide parents with a visual guideline that could ultimately prevent children from taking on such a dirty, nasty habit.
New Scientist reports that the research team was led by psychologist Chih-Hung Ko of Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital. The research enlisted roughly 2300 11-year-olds, and--for two years--required them to fill in forms every six months that detailed their time spent online. The research discovered that 11-percent of the test subjects walked away from the experiment mutated with an "unhealthy obsession" with the Internet.
So what do parents and concerned friends need to look for? How is Internet addiction diagnosed? The study discovered that depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, social phobia, and hostility were found to predict the occurrence of Internet addiction. Hostility and ADHD serve as the most significant predictors for boys, whereas social phobia and depression were named as strong predictors for girls.
"This means sex differences should be taken into consideration when developing prevention and intervention strategies for internet addiction," the report said. It also clarified that the study's overall intention is not to be an alarmist, but to alert Pediatricians to a possible "major public health problem." Still, based on the addiction signs listed above, everyone in the world could be an Internet addict, even those who are writing, editing, and reading this news article.
What's your addiction? Online games like MMO? Facebook and Twitter? IM? Other unmentionables? Tell us in the comments! "