The association between internet addiction and aggression/impulsiveness in adolescents (2014)

Alcohol Alcohol. 2014 Sep;49 Suppl 1:i67. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agu054.71.

Lim JA1, Gwak AR1, Park SM1, Kim DJ2, Choi JS3.



Previous studies have reported that aggression and impulsiveness are associated with Internet Addiction Disorders (IAD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent of Internet addiction and aggression, impulsiveness and its relationship with clinical factors according to mood state.


Data were collected from middle school students (total N = 714, male N = 389, female N = 325, mean age = 14.85 years) in Seoul, South Korea. They completed the Young’s Internet addiction test (Y-IAT), questionnaires about clinical states (depression, anxiety, and ADHD), and aggression/impulsiveness characteristics (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 [BIS-11], Aggression Questionnaire [AQ], and State and Trait Anger Expression Inventory [STAXI]). Three groups were categorized as following: based on Young’s (1998) criteria, 13 participants (mean age = 15 years, male = 7, female = 6) were classified as the Internet addiction group. 191 participants (mean age = 14.8 years, male = 137, female = 54) were classified as the heavy internet user group and non-dependent internet user group were 487 (mean age = 14.8 years, male = 232, female = 255).


The score of the Y-IAT was positively correlated with scores of the BIS-11, AQ, and STAXI. When path analysis was performed to investigate whether clinical states had influences as the BIS-11, STAXI, or AQ predict IAD, the BIS-11 and AQ were mediated by anxiety and ADHD when predicting IAD.


This study showed that IAD was significantly correlated with aggression, impulsiveness and clinical states in adolescents. Especially, mood state such as anxiety or ADHD appeared to have important role to predict IAD. Therefore, clinicians should consider examining comorbidity with mood disorders or ADHD when managing IAD in adolescents.