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Internet addiction is an issue that will be better researched in years to come

A new research study indicates some children and teenagers will become addicted to the internet, which can lead to ADHD, hostility, and social phobia.

Even though internet addiction is a growing problem with adults, according to researchers, there is even more concern related to internet addiction for the younger generation.

Researchers surveyed 2,293 seventh graders in Taiwan, noting 10.8% of them developed an internet addiction over time.  Furthermore, the researchers discovered those found be addicted to the internet suffered from ADHD and increased hostility.

Boys are more likely to become addicted to the internet, though girls had a higher level of depression and social phobia.

"The study's indication that children who are hyperactive or diagnosed ADHD are finding an outlet on the Web makes such perfect sense," said Michael Gilbert, Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California, who wasn't involved with the research.

Researchers in China and Japan are spending an increased amount of time looking into internet addiction, as there have been a handful of deaths related to prolonged computer and Internet use.

Internet addiction is not an official disorder, but will likely be entered into the 2012 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  In the future, researchers will attempt to discover other negative impacts from internet addiction -- and will try to identify official criteria so it can be entered into the DSM.

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Wrong Way Causal Relationship
By Yawgm0th on 10/7/2009 10:44:11 AM , Rating: 3
A new research study indicates some children and teenagers will become addicted to the internet, which can lead to ADHD, hostility, and social phobia.
This is backwards. The study merely indicates a statistically significant overlap between students with ADD/ADHD, hostility, and social phobias and students who are addicted to the Internet. Your sentence here states that the relationship is causal, with the Internet being responsible for the social disorders.

At the very least, this study is not enough to prove that. Moreover, as Michael Gilbert says in the article, the Internet makes more sense as an output for these problems than a cause. If the relationship is causal, it's because ADHD and other disorders cause Internet addiction.

Certainly, there is something to be said for kids having near-constant access to sources of entertainment, such as having the Internet. I'm sure that such environments could be reasonably proved to have a causal relationship with ADHD and other disorders in children. But the Internet and even video games are just one of many things that could fill that role.

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