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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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RE: Perfect Job
By xmichaelx on 12/7/2009 3:16:29 PM , 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.

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.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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