Acta Med Croatica. 2014 Dec;68(4-5):361-73.
[Article in Croatian]
The aim of the study was to explore the characteristics of Internet use among elementary school eighth-graders in the Bjelo- var-Bilogora County, to evaluate gender and sociodemographic differences, and to examine predictors for Internet addiction. The study included 437 (female 51%) eighth-graders, mean age 13.8 ± 0.5 years.
An anonymous questionnaire was used to measure the participants’ Internet use, the functions for which they used Internet, their parents’ attitude towards the child’s Internet use, and their signs of Internet addiction. Logistic regression was conducted to evaluate predictors for Internet addiction.
The majority of children (71.5%) reported using Internet every day.
Considering important risk factors of Internet addiction development, we found that 32% of children almost always stayed on-line longer than intended, 13% of boys and 4% of girls almost always neglected chores to spend more time on-line and 51.7% of children thought their life would be boring and uninteresting without the Internet.
There was no significant difference between urban and rural students. In terms of the function for which they used the Internet, they were mostly engaged in on-line community/chat websites (70%), to listen to music and watch movies (81%), and boys in gaming websites.
Most of the students (43.4%) spent 1-2 hours daily on-line, 26.2% of students spent 3-4 hours on-line, and 9% spent more than 5 hours daily on-line.
In conclusion, more public health preventive measures should be conducted to raise public awareness and concern about the negative effect of Internet use and Internet addiction, especially in the young population