Acta Paediatr. 2016 Dec 15. doi: 10.1111/apa.13706.
Existing studies showing an association between substance use disorders and Internet addiction have been limited due their cross-sectional design. This longitudinal study investigated the association between addictive Internet use during adolescence and heavy drinking and cigarette smoking in early adulthood.
We focused on middle school students from the Korea Youth Panel Study who were 16 in 2003:1,804 who did not drink alcohol and 2,277 who did not smoke. Multivariate logistic analysis investigated the relationships between Internet use at the age of 16, with regard to location, time spent and reason for use, and drinking and smoking at the age of 20.
Using the Internet for chatting, games, and adult websites at the age of 16 had a significant association with heavy drinking at the age of 20. The Internet café as the location for Internet use at the age of 16 was associated with smoking behaviour at the age of 20.
This study confirmed significant associations between addictive use of the Internet at the age of 16 and heavy drinking and cigarette smoking at the age of 20. The findings demonstrated the negative effects of addictive Internet use, one of the biggest problems with adolescents.
Adolescents; Internet use; heavy drinking; longitudinal study; smoking