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Researchers indicate teenagers addicted to the Internet are more likely to harm themselves than other teens

A new study indicates teenagers who are addicted to the internet are more likely to have behavioral issues along with a higher likelihood for self-harm.

During the study that involved 1,618 teenagers between the ages of 13 to 18 from the Guangdong Province in China, some of those surveyed admitted to hitting themselves, burning, pinching, and other forms self-abuse. People who admitted to being addicted to the internet reportedly were 2.4 times more likely to have hurt themselves in the past six months.

Specifically, less than one percent said they were severely addicted to the internet, while around 10 percent were moderately addicted.

"In recent years, with the greater availability of the internet in most Asian countries, internet addiction has become an increasing mental problem among adolescents," the study noted.  "Many studies have reported associations between Internet addiction, psychiatric symptoms and depression among adolescents."

The joint Australian-Chinese study, carried out by the University of Notre Dame Australia's Dr. Lawrence Lam, indicates a "strong and significant" correlation with internet addiction and self-harm.

So-called internet addiction -- which has reportedly existed since the mid-1990s -- is still a grey area among mental health experts interested in creating specific guidelines to define internet addiction.



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Perfect Job
By xoomer on 12/7/2009 6:16:56 AM , Rating: 1
They could cure cancer, create another cheap energy source but instead they do another pointless study. What's next, How many fruit pastels does it take to choke a kestrel?




RE: Perfect Job
By bupkus on 12/7/2009 6:41:05 AM , Rating: 1
Please let us know what you consider pointful.

Studies that reveal potential health issues may be of interest to individuals and families of those effected. Getting ahead of problems instead of simply reacting to them is a smart and (this one's for you) financially conservative approach to potentially costly medically treatments.

I won't waste your time appealing to your social sense of intervening with human suffering.


RE: Perfect Job
By Samus on 12/7/2009 6:44:01 AM , Rating: 3
I think the issues he has (and I agree with him) is that these studies are revealing problems that can not be fixed. Like many studies, they expose a problem and present no possible treatment or solution.

The results of this study have no solution. Therefore its results should be burned :)


RE: Perfect Job
By bupkus on 12/7/2009 6:55:10 AM , Rating: 1
I don't agree that solutions to problems are unavailable. For those effected, just knowing of an observed problem can begin a self control decision to first be aware of one's own behavior and its potential risks.

I cannot abandon the idea that knowledge is power.


RE: Perfect Job
By MrBlastman on 12/7/2009 10:03:52 AM , Rating: 1
Solutions _are_ available folks! Step right inside to the latest, greatest and most effective of internet slogans.

At the top of the list, we have '/yourself'--apparently, according to a recent government study, typing '/yourself' to a teenager online, might actually garner some real-world results!

So, everybody, just go /yourself !

;)

It is interesting that such a meme might actually produce results.


RE: Perfect Job
By bupkus on 12/7/2009 10:20:50 AM , Rating: 3
lol, just what the f$%k are you talking about?


RE: Perfect Job
By MrBlastman on 12/7/2009 10:38:00 AM , Rating: 2
Survey says--you don't know bupkis, bupkus. :P

I'm just full of cliche today.

/ is I believe what you use in html to end something, such as <html> at the start and </html> in the end, thus, /yourself. It is rather popular on forums.


RE: Perfect Job
By bjacobson on 12/7/2009 1:36:23 PM , Rating: 2
Could this just be correlation? "Teen internet addict" I think of myspace--> emo --> hurt yourself.
I do not think of the typical dailytech or anandtech reader when I think of "internet addict". More like "information addict" or "engineering addict".


RE: Perfect Job
By xmichaelx on 12/7/2009 3:16:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I think the issues he has (and I agree with him) is that these studies are revealing problems that can not be fixed.


I would argue that the problem with this study is that the results are obvious to anyone. Obviously, depressed kids are more likely to have no friends and spend more time sitting in front of a computer. This is not unlike the "Accutane causes suicides" studies from last decade: Obviously, kids with serious acne are more likely to be depressed and therefore will have a higher suicide rate. As has been pointed out as nauseum on the interwebs, "correlation != causation".

This doesn't mean that the study should be done -- other good data could come from them -- only that the results are not news.


RE: Perfect Job
By Nik00117 on 12/7/2009 6:46:32 AM , Rating: 2
This is merely a symptom to deeper problems.


RE: Perfect Job
By bupkus on 12/7/2009 7:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand your meaning.


RE: Perfect Job
By StevoLincolnite on 12/7/2009 8:25:47 AM , Rating: 2
I think In general Teenagers are more likely to cause self harm simply from the fact that they are hormonal and there body is undergoing significant change. - This "Report" really doesn't tell much when you look at it from an overall picture.


RE: Perfect Job
By bupkus on 12/7/2009 9:18:39 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you, Nik00117.


RE: Perfect Job
By Hieyeck on 12/7/2009 8:30:24 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe study something that's not so obvious.

Just like TV, parents are now using the internet as a substitute for actual parenting. What you're asking to fix is human stupidity, and as Einstein has already postulated, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."


RE: Perfect Job
By bupkus on 12/7/2009 10:11:14 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Maybe study something that's not so obvious.

Perhaps all further studies of human behavior should first be run past you so you can set them straight on the obvious nature of their inquires. It could save countless dollars and an unnecessary waste of time.
quote:
Just like TV, parents are now using the internet as a substitute for actual parenting.

I too have seen parents plant their toddlers in front of TVs to distract them while they clean, cook or talk on the phone, but these subjects were...
quote:
For the purpose of the study, researchers surveyed 1,618 students aged between 13 and 18.

quote:
What you're asking to fix is human stupidity, and as Einstein has already postulated, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

I cannot begin to express my fatigue with all the "exceptional" people who post here, each certain if they state how stupid humanity is they can somehow disassociate themselves from the affliction and place themselves above other opinions.
How often do we hear social Darwinism rolled out to provide an excuse for our lack of humanity and often racist feelings.
Are people really stupid or is there another source of our rabid lack of regard for our fellow humans.
For one, so many are turning to technical educations with a severe neglect of our humanities. Excelling in the study of computing does not make one an authority on the methodology of social inquires.
Also, the "angry" politicisation of every issue that a political pundit can spin for viewer ratings and market share has poisoned our hearts and minds against each other.
Add to that an American preference for cowboys over our better educated has helped us avoid a president with a PhD but for one Woodrow Wilson.

You, sir, by way of your insults and quotation of Albert Einstein have awarded yourself a mantle of exceptional intelligence that you do not deserve.


RE: Perfect Job
By killerb255 on 12/8/2009 1:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I cannot begin to express my fatigue with all the "exceptional" people who post here, each certain if they state how stupid humanity is they can somehow disassociate themselves from the affliction and place themselves above other opinions.


It's called pathological narcissism. It's a way to build up one's self-esteem without actually accomplishing anything worth building up, present it to others as something that's "better than the status quo," at best or "godlike," at worst (or shift the comparative adverbs depending on your point of view).

It's easy to do on the Internet. It's effectively reduced the cost of entry for voicing an opinion to a larger audience to nearly nothing.

People leveling themselves against what they envy or hate is normal to some degree. However, when it's done so frequently that their very self-esteem depends on it is when they cross the line towards Narcissistic Personality Disorder.


RE: Perfect Job
By killerb255 on 12/8/2009 2:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How often do we hear social Darwinism rolled out to provide an excuse for our lack of humanity and often racist feelings.


People want a simple answer to complex problems. Even extremely intelligent people fall for this trap (sometimes they do it more often, as they try to process all the things they're pondering in their minds that they have no solution to or workaround for).

One of Freud's primitive defense mechanisms is called splitting . It's when we take a crap load of stuff going on in our lives and divide it into two categories--good and evil--because we think anything beyond that is overwhelming.

The problem is that the criteria for this is loose: anything that gives off pleasure can be in the "good" container (i.e.: fast food) and anything that yanks one out of their comfort zone could be in the "evil" container (i.e.: going on a diet).

The media encourages this to some degree. If the media can stimulate the extreme "good" (i.e.: quick diet solution) or extreme "evil" (i.e.: finger found in fast food), they get ratings. Any polarizing topic is that way because of an excess in splitting by those involved (yes, I'm looking at the two of you: religion and politics!)

Hell, we're even taught to split as kids! How many times have we asked our parents questions only to get an answer that falls under "good" or "evil," and then find out when we're teenagers and adults that life isn't that freaking simple?!! We find out that there are a lot of "grays" in the world that can't be processed by simple "Republicans are good/bad" or "Christianity is good/bad." Some people grow up and learn to process the grays in healthier ways, while others don't.

Also, because of all the splitting, we've "battle hardened" ourselves to deal with conflict. Remove the conflict and we're left with "neutral"--something we've never learn how to handle. We're not getting ecstasy out of it and we're not comfortable with it, so what happens with "neutral"? It gets thrown into the "evil" compartment and we end up trying to find something NEW! and EXCITING! only to create yet another problem. It's like coming home from a 20-year war to try and learn to live in peace-time. Your solution to conflict is to take an M-16 and plug as many holes in that conflict as possible. Of course that doesn't work in peace time without drastic consequences...


RE: Perfect Job
By insurgent on 12/7/2009 10:21:52 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't this true for any addict? An addiction to anything suggests deeper problems, is a heroine addict less likely to harm himself compared to internet addicts?


RE: Perfect Job
By TSS on 12/7/2009 10:56:10 AM , Rating: 2
An addiction in itself doesn't have to signal deeper problems, the start of that addiction might.

However i think the severity of how much one hurts himself is more correlated with the severity of the addiction, not the addiction to something.

If your severly addicted to <fill in anything>, then that same thing gets taken away, you are going to feel pain. Self inflicted pain can then be a focus for you to get your mind off the other pain your feeling of not getting what you need.

This doesn't have to mean quitting. For somebody who's addicted to heroin, it means "when the buzz wears off". For somebody who's addicted to the internet, i'd figure that point comes when they go offline.

Suppose a mild addiction means 1 week without internet before they start showing withdrawl, severe is a day and extreme is an hour. Then suppose a patient of each goes to school for 8 hours.

The mild patient won't have any problems. The severe patient will have problems concentrating, but as long as there is time to go online in a day he's fine. The extreme patient is going to suffer, regardless. I'd say he's very likely to hurt himself, for the above reason.


RE: Perfect Job
By killerb255 on 12/8/2009 2:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Also add to that the correlation between addictions (no matter how subjective) and other psychiatric disorders:

1) ADHD

This is the big kahuna, folks. Lack of focus, lack of concentration, the brain that's like a TV with a stuck "Channel Up" button. However, if they do happen to fix the Channel Up button, they often rip the damn button out of their proverbial TV because they found one channel to stimulate the lack of dopamine in their brains. This often comes off as an addiction. This goes double or triple if it's an addition to a chemical stimulant (i.e.: cocaine, meth, caffeine), as stimulants are used in the treatment of ADHD!

2) Depression

To sum this one up: "I don't care about anything else" and they'll do the few things they can find an ounce of "enjoyment" from. Since people with depression are often self-mutilators, the person in this article could very well have been a person with depression that cuts themselves that just so happen to hang on the Internet too much.

3) Bipolar Disorder

Also known as manic depression, it's like the redheaded stepchild between depression, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and ADHD. They go through cycles of depression and cycles of what's called "mania," but the cycles don't change on a dime like they do with BPD. During the mania, the person has the grandiosity of someone with NPD and the sporadic behavior of someone with ADHD. Adding fuel to the fire, people with bipolar disorder tend to cycle with the medication: they take it when they're depressed and stop taking it when they're manic. Since discontinuing an anti-depressant is usually bad news, you now have a walking addiction machine that can get addicted to anything they think can keep them manic and/or get them out of depression...

On a side note, the committee responsible for writing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) is considering putting "Internet Addiction Disorder" and/or "Gaming Addiction Disorder" in the DSM-V (the fifth version of said book of mental disorders). Of course opinions are mixed on this one (+: it gets covered under insurance if it's Axis I in the DSM; -: creates an ugly precedent--where do we draw the line on what is and is not an "addiction"?)


typical biased from the beginning study
By rika13 on 12/7/2009 7:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
like most "studies" this one is highly biased from the beginning to find what they want to find

firstly, its in china, who hates the idea of freedom, which includes internet

second, its MALES only

third, it tries to link internet addiction to self-harm, when its likely there is a common causation for BOTH




By rika13 on 12/7/2009 7:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
my bad, thought it said boys, its just general teenagers


RE: typical biased from the beginning study
By Alexstarfire on 12/7/09, Rating: 0
By bupkus on 12/7/2009 10:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
but come on


come on...


By jonmcc33 on 12/7/2009 9:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. China? Please, that's not something to base a statement on.


By bupkus on 12/7/2009 10:17:14 AM , Rating: 2
Sigh...

What can be said of these streams of unsupported assumptions.


Probably only second in line...
By Beenthere on 12/7/2009 7:00:21 AM , Rating: 1
to gamers.




By Nubsicles on 12/7/2009 9:16:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think they're including gamers within the general 'internet' population


By FITCamaro on 12/7/2009 12:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
I thought games meant I wanted to harm others, not myself. In reality, it prevents both.


Always remember
By VultureTX on 12/7/2009 11:04:27 AM , Rating: 2
Correlation does not imply causation -- when you read of these "targeted studies".

And frankly screwed up teens with addiction issues likely have weird fantasies about eating a bowl of cheerios, never mind ingesting the Internet.




RE: Always remember
By killerb255 on 12/8/2009 2:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
This man deserves a 6!


Internet Addiction in China
By nafhan on 12/7/2009 9:29:55 AM , Rating: 3
This is China! As an alternative to being more 2.4 times more likely to hit or pinch themselves, they could go to internet addiction camp and be 100% more likely to have someone else hit them, and they might even die!
Seriously, the Chinese government has a vested interest in making anything related to the internet look as bad as possible. If the internet is bad, censoring it is OK... So, I'm going to take any internet related study out of China with a huge grain of salt.




And....?
By Targon on 12/7/2009 9:04:14 AM , Rating: 2
There are many differences in the CULTURE in China compared to other parts of the world, just because there is a study done in China does not mean that the results hold ANY merit for other parts of the world. In much the same way you can't expect results from the back country of Kentucky to New York City(vastly different lifestyles), you can't just say that what is true of China applies to the USA, or Europe, or Africa.

Teenagers in general are generally prone to all sorts of behavioral issues, and that is the result of culture, plus biology, and trying to cope with the results of hormones on how a person feels, both mentally and physically. Add to this the drugs/medications that are all over the place(you feel tired, pop a pill, you have a headache, pop a pill, depressed, pop a pill), and it is a wonder that teenagers learn to deal with ANYTHING without taking some sort of drug in the USA. In other countries where taking pills for every possible bad feeling isn't the norm, teenagers STILL end up needing to learn how to deal with the conflict between what the body, mind, and culture may be demanding. So, is stress and depression in teenagers REALLY so hard to understand?

The real problem is that acting out instead of trying to control how a person is feeling has become a lot more common and accepted overall. Instead of trying to cope, teens may just try to kill themselves, and because they read about it, it becomes an almost acceptable thing to them.




Association is NOT Casuation
By WoWCow on 12/7/2009 10:58:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Many studies have reported associations between Internet addiction, psychiatric symptoms and depression among adolescents.


Followed by

quote:
The joint Australian-Chinese study, carried out by the University of Notre Dame Australia's Dr. Lawrence Lam, indicates a "strong and significant" correlation with internet addiction and self-harm.


Common sense dictates depression is most strongly associated with self-harming, possibly causing self-harm.

There is much overlapping (in my assumption) between the three variables in question: Addiction, Depression, and Self-harm.

Please read the article carefully before assuming this research states addiction causes self-harm. Addiction is not causing self-harm, addiction is strongly associated with depression AND self harm.




Good
By FITCamaro on 12/7/2009 12:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
The gene pool is looking a lot like the film that builds inside a toilet bowl when you don't clean it.

The loss of these morons will do it some good.




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