Epidemiology of Internet Behaviors and Addiction Among Adolescents in Six Asian Countries (2014)

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2014 Nov;17(11):720-728.

Mak KK1, Lai CM, Watanabe H, Kim DI, Bahar N, Ramos M, Young KS, Ho RC, Aum NR, Cheng C.


Internet addiction has become a serious behavioral health problem in Asia. However, there are no up-to-date country comparisons. The Asian Adolescent Risk Behavior Survey (AARBS) screens and compares the prevalence of Internet behaviors and addiction in adolescents in six Asian countries.

A total of 5,366 adolescents aged 12-18 years were recruited from six Asian countries: China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Participants completed a structured questionnaire on their Internet use in the 2012-2013 school year.

Internet addiction was assessed using the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the Revised Chen Internet Addiction Scale (CIAS-R). The variations in Internet behaviors and addiction across countries were examined.

  • The overall prevalence of smartphone ownership is 62%, ranging from 41% in China to 84% in South Korea.
  • Moreover, participation in online gaming ranges from 11% in China to 39% in Japan.
  • Hong Kong has the highest number of adolescents reporting daily or above Internet use (68%).
  • Internet addiction is highest in the Philippines, according to both the IAT (5%) and the CIAS-R (21%).

Internet addictive behavior is common among adolescents in Asian countries. Problematic Internet use is prevalent and characterized by risky cyberbehaviors.