COMMENTS: This study followed students for one year assessing levels of internet addiction and evaluating levels of depression, hostility, and social anxiety. Researchers found that internet addiction exacerbates depression, hostility, and social anxiety, while remission from Internet addiction decreases depression, hostility, and social anxiety. Cause & effect, not just correlation.
Compr Psychiatry. 2014 May 17. pii: S0010-440X(14)00115-1. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.05.003.
In adolescent populations worldwide, Internet addiction is prevalent and is often comorbid with depression, hostility, and social anxiety of adolescents. This study aimed at evaluating the exacerbation of depression, hostility, and social anxiety in the course of getting addiction to Internet or remitting from Internet addiction among adolescents.
This study recruited 2293 adolescents in grade 7 to assess their depression, hostility, social anxiety and Internet addiction. The same assessments were repeated one year later. The incidence group was defined as subjects classified as non-addicted in the first assessment and as addicted in the second assessment. The remission group was defined as subjects classified as addicted in the first assessment and as non-addicted in the second assessment.
The incidence group exhibited increased depression and hostility more than the non-addiction group and the effect of on depression was stronger among adolescent girls. Further, the remission group showed decreased depression, hostility, and social anxiety more than the persistent addiction group.
Depression and hostility worsen in the addiction process for the Internet among adolescents. Intervention of Internet addiction should be provided to prevent its negative effect on mental health. Depression, hostility, and social anxiety decreased in the process of remission. It suggested that the negative consequences could be reversed if Internet addiction could be remitted within a short duration.
- PMID: 24939704