Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2013 Aug 24.
1 National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University , Beijing, China .
The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of Internet addiction in a nationally representative sample of Chinese elementary and middle school students and to investigate Internet addiction among Internet users with different usages. The data were from the National Children’s Study of China (NCSC) in which 24,013 fourth- to ninth-grade students were recruited from 100 counties in 31 provinces in China.
Only 54.2% of the students had accessed the Internet. According to the criteria of Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire (YDQ), an eight-item instrument, the prevalence of Internet addiction in the total sample was 6.3%, and among Internet users was 11.7%. Among the Internet users, males (14.8%) and rural students (12.1%) reported Internet addiction more than females (7.0%) and urban students (10.6%).
The percentage of Internet addicts in elementary school students (11.5%) was not significantly lower than the percentage of middle school students (11.9%). There was no statistically significant difference between the four geographical regions (9.6%, 11.5%, 12.3%, 11.1%) characterized by different levels of economy, health, education, and social environment. As the frequency of Internet use and time spent online per week increased, the percentage of Internet addicts increased.
When considering the location and purpose of Internet use, the percentage of Internet addicts was highest in adolescents typically surfing in Internet cafes (18.1%) and playing Internet games (22.5%).