Usefulness of Young’s Internet Addiction Test for clinical populations. (2012)

Comments: Young’s Internet addiction test was developed as a way to assess Internet addiction. This study finds that it is not all that great and misses many who do have significant issues. Young’s test relies a lot on time spent using. The test is poor assessment tool for Internet porn addiction or related problems as time spent using has been found to be less important than number of applications used or use-related symptoms.

Nord J Psychiatry. 2012 Dec 18.


Seog Ju Kim, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine , Seoul , Korea.


Background: Young’s Internet Addiction Test (IAT) is one of the most widely used scales for assessing Internet addiction.

Aims: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the value of IAT for subjects clinically diagnosed with Internet addiction.

Methods: A total of 52 subjects, whose chief complaint and most serious behavioral problem was Internet addiction, were enrolled at an Internet-addiction clinic associated with a university hospital. The IAT was administered to assess the existence and severity of Internet addiction. Subjects were classified according to the severity guidelines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) and according to the duration of their Internet addiction.

Results: The mean IAT score of our clinical subjects was 62.8 ± 18.2, which was below 70, the cut-off point indicating significant problems. The IAT detected only 42% of the clinical subjects as having significant problems with Internet addiction. No significant differences in IAT scores among those with mild, moderate and severe degrees of Internet addition were found, and no association between IAT scores and duration of illness was observed.

Conclusions: IAT scores were not significant correlated with clinical severity and duration of illness in a clinical population. This instrument had limited clinical utility for evaluating the severity of Internet addiction. Considerable caution is required in interpretations of IAT scores