Problematic internet use and mental health among British children and adolescents (2018)

Addict Behav. 2018 Sep 11;90:428-436. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.09.007.

El Asam A1, Samara M2, Terry P3.


Despite concerns about the effects of internet use, little is known about how problematic internet use impacts on British children and adolescents. By adapting the Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ, Demetrovics, Szeredi, & Rózsa, 2008), this study seeks its validation while studying its association with psychopathological and health problems. A sample of 1,814 children and adolescents (aged 10-16 years old) from UK schools completed questionnaires about PIU, behavioural problems, depression, anxiety and health problems. Confirmatory Factor Analysis identified three independent factors: Neglect, Obsession and Control Disorder. Using path analysis, PIU was significantly predicted by conduct problems, hyperactivity, impact on daily life activities, depression and poorer physical health. Males were more likely than females to score higher on PIU. The study shows for the first time that the adapted PIU questionnaire constitutes a valid tool for the assessment of problematic internet use among children/adolescents. The results also suggest an urgent need for the development of intervention strategies.

KEYWORDS:  Children and Adolescents; Internet Addiction; Mental Health; Pathological Internet use; Problematic Internet use; Psychopathology

PMID: 30579146

DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.09.007