Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2004 Oct;58(5):487-94.
Department of Psychiatry, Gyeongsang National University College of Medicine, Jinju, South Korea.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between attention deficit-hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms and Internet addiction. In total, 535 elementary school students (264 boys, 271 girls; mean age, 11.0 +/- 1.0 years) were recruited.
The presence or severity of Internet addiction was assessed by the Young’s Internet Addiction test. Parents and teachers of the children completed the DuPaul’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rating scale (ARS; Korean version, K-ARS) and Child Behavior Checklists. Children with the highest and lowest quartiles in K-ARS scores were defined to be in ADHD and non-ADHD groups, respectively. Five children (0.9%) met criteria for a definite Internet addiction and 75 children (14.0%) met criteria for a probable Internet addiction. K-ARS scores had significant positive correlations with Young’s Internet Addiction test scores.
The Internet addiction group had higher total scores of K-ARS and ADHD-related subcategories in the Child Behavior Checklists than the non-addiction group. The ADHD group had higher Internet addiction scores compared with the non-ADHD group. Therefore, significant associations have been found between the level of ADHD symptoms and the severity of Internet addiction in children. In addition, current findings suggest that the presence of ADHD symptoms, both in inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity domains, may be one of the important risk factors for Internet addiction.