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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