Association between pathological use of the Internet and adolescent depression

January 01, 0001

Association between pathological use of the Internet and adolescent depression

These Chinese and Australian investigators conducted a prospective study with a randomly generated cohort from the population of high school students, aged 13 to 18 years in Guangzhou, China.

They found: "After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the relative risk of depression for those who used the Internet pathologically was about 2 times (incidence rate ratio, 2.5) that of those who did not exhibit the targeted pathological internet use behaviors. No significant relationship between pathological use of the Internet and anxiety at follow-up was observed."

The authors concluded: "Results suggested that young people who are initially free of mental health problems but use the Internet pathologically could develop depression as a consequence. These results have direct implications for the prevention of mental illness in young people, particularly in developing countries."

A topic of current relevance that requires further study.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 164(10):901-906, October 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Society
Effect of Pathological Use of the Internet on Adolescent Mental Health-A Prospective Study. Lawrence T. Lam, Zi-Wen Peng. Correspondence to Dr. Lam: [email protected]

Category: Z. Social Problems, P. Psychological. Keywords: Internet, pathological use, mental health, depression, anxiety, prospective cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 26 October 2010

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