Georgian Med News. 2017 Mar;(264):50-53.
The aim of the study was to assess the impact of internet gambling on children’s mental and physical health and find correlation between the age, duration of internet use and type of comorbidity associated with internet gambling. The study assessed 50 patients with internet gambling (35 boys, 15 girls) from 2013-2016 y. The age range was 3-15 years. 15 patients were from 3-7 y of age, 20 patients from 7-12 y and 15 – from 12-15 y of age. The core problem common for all patients were internet overuse by computer games, mobile device and other gadgets. The main problem occurring in these children were insomnia, language delay, stuttering, behavioral disturbances, aggressive behavior phobias. These complaints were correlated with age of patients. The group of patients from 3-7 years of age exhibited sleep disturbances and language impairment, mainly presented with stuttering. The complaints occurring in children from 7-12 y of age are: tics, insomnia, phobias, emotional disturbances, daily fatigue, and attention-deficit. The group of children aged 12-15 years mainly revealed poor academic performance, refuse to play sport games, refuse to play music, insomnia, aggressive behavior, attention deficit, conflict with parents, coprolalia. Thus internet overuse affects physical and psychological aspects of child development which has to be managed by parental and psychologist’s joint effort.