Depression and Internet addiction in adolescents (2007)

Comments: High correlation with depression. More important, depression was correlated more closley with Internet addiction than with “biogenetic temperament”. That means Internet addiction caused the depression rather than depression caused the addiction.

Psychopathology. 2007;40(6):424-30. Epub 2007 Aug 20.


Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea.



The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between depression and Internet addiction among adolescents.


A total of 452 Korean adolescents were studied. First, they were evaluated for their severity of Internet addiction with consideration of their behavioral characteristics and their primary purpose for computer use. Second, we investigated correlations between Internet addiction and depression, alcohol dependence and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Third, the relationship between Internet addiction and biogenetic temperament as assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory was evaluated.


Internet addiction was significantly associated with depressive symptoms and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Regarding biogenetic temperament and character patterns, high harm avoidance, low self-directedness, low cooperativeness and high self-transcendence were correlated with Internet addiction. In multivariate analysis, among clinical symptoms depression was most closely related to Internet addiction, even after controlling for differences in biogenetic temperament.


This study reveals a significant association between Internet addiction and depressive symptoms in adolescents. This association is supported by temperament profiles of the Internet addiction group. The data suggest the necessity of the evaluation of the potential underlying depression in the treatment of Internet-addicted adolescents.