Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2016 Aug 30. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12454.
Internet addiction (IA), also referred to as Internet use disorder, is a serious problem all over the world, especially in Asian countries. Severe IA in students may be linked to academic failure, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and forms of social withdrawal, such as hikikomori. In this study, we performed a survey to investigate the relation between IA and ADHD symptoms among college students.
Severity of IA and ADHD traits was assessed by self-report scales. Subjects were 403 college students (response rate 78%) who completed a questionnaire including Young’s Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-V1.1.
Out of 403 subjects, 165 were male. The mean age was 18.4 ± 1.2 years, and mean total IAT score was 45.2 ± 12.6. One hundred forty-eight respondents (36.7%) were average Internet users (IAT < 40), 240 (59.6%) had possible addiction (IAT 40-69), and 15 (3.7%) had severe addiction (IAT ≥ 70). Mean length of Internet use was 4.1 ± 2.8 h/day on weekdays and 5.9 ± 3.7 h/day on the weekend. Females used the Internet mainly for social networking services while males preferred online games. Students with a positive ADHD screen scored significantly higher on the IAT than those negative for ADHD screen (50.2 ± 12.9 vs 43.3 ± 12.0).
Our results suggest that Internet misuse may be related to ADHD traits among Japanese youth. Further investigation of the links between IA and ADHD is warranted.
Internet addiction; Internet use disorder; hikikomori ; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; neurodevelopmental disorders