A Phenotype Classification of Internet Use Disorder in a Large-Scale High-School Study (2018)

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Apr 12;15(4). pii: E733. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15040733.

Lindenberg K1, Halasy K2, Szász-Janocha C3, Wartberg L4.


Internet Use Disorder (IUD) affects numerous adolescents worldwide, and (Internet) Gaming Disorder, a specific subtype of IUD, has recently been included in DSM-5 and ICD-11. Epidemiological studies have identified prevalence rates up to 5.7% among adolescents in Germany. However, little is known about the risk development during adolescence and its association to education. The aim of this study was to: (a) identify a clinically relevant latent profile in a large-scale high-school sample; (b) estimate prevalence rates of IUD for distinct age groups and (c) investigate associations to gender and education. N = 5387 adolescents out of 41 schools in Germany aged 11-21 were assessed using the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS). Latent profile analyses showed five profile groups with differences in CIUS response pattern, age and school type. IUD was found in 6.1% and high-risk Internet use in 13.9% of the total sample. Two peaks were found in prevalence rates indicating the highest risk of IUD in age groups 15-16 and 19-21. Prevalence did not differ significantly between boys and girls. High-level education schools showed the lowest (4.9%) and vocational secondary schools the highest prevalence rate (7.8%). The differences between school types could not be explained by academic level.

KEYWORDS: Internet Use Disorder; adolescence; epidemiology; latent profile analysis; prevalence

PMID: 29649137

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15040733