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What Types of Internet Services Make Adolescents Addicted? Correlates of Problematic Internet Use

Authors Kim KM, Kim H, Choi JW, Kim SY, Kim JW

Received 25 January 2020

Accepted for publication 3 April 2020

Published 20 April 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 1031—1041


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Taro Kishi

Kyoung Min Kim,1 Haebin Kim,2 Jae-Won Choi,3 Soo Yeon Kim,4 Jun Won Kim5

1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Dankook University, Cheonan, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Psychiatry, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 3Department of Psychiatry, Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju, Republic of Korea; 4Department of Psychiatry, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea; 5Department of Psychiatry, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, Republic of Korea

Correspondence: Jun Won Kim
Department of Psychiatry, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, 3056-6 Daemyeong-4 Dong, Nam-gu, Daegu 705-718, Republic of Korea
Tel +82 53 650 4332
Fax +82 53 623 1694

Purpose: This study investigated the prevalence and correlates of problematic internet use (PIU) in a large sample of adolescents based on the type of internet service used.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted from 2008 to 2010, and 223,542 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years participated in the study. The participants responded to a self-report questionnaire including items for demographic factors, internet usage time, most used internet service and mental health. The PIU was assessed with the Internet Addiction Proneness Scale for Youth-Short Form.
Results: The overall prevalence rate of PIU was 5.2%, and the prevalence rates stratified by sex were 7.7% in boys and 3.8% in girls. The distribution of most used internet services was significantly different across sexes. The most commonly used internet services were gaming (58.1%) in boys and blogging (22.1%) and messenger/chatting (20.3%) in girls. The odds ratio for PIU was significantly different according to the most used internet service; using the internet mostly for pornography compared to information searching had the highest odds ratio (4.526-fold higher). Depressive episodes, suicidal ideation, and suicidal attempts were significantly associated with higher odds ratios for PIU (1.725-, 1.747- and 1.361-fold, respectively).
Conclusion: The present study identified clinically important information about PIU in adolescents. The distribution of PIU has different patterns based on sex and specific internet services. Studies of PIU with well-defined methodology and assessment tools for PIU of each specific internet service are needed.

Keywords: addiction, adolescence, sex differences, internet usage

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