Internet Use Tied To Depression in Youth

Internet Use Tied To Depression in Youth

An extensive Chinese study suggests that teenagers are much more vulnerable to depression if they spend excessive amounts of time online.

Janice Chow
  • 16 august 2010

An extensive Chinese research project that suggests that teenagers are much more vulnerable to depression if they spend excessive amounts of time on the Internet. A study published by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine followed more than 1,000 students at high schools in Guangzhou who were free of anxiety and depression at the start of the study. The researchers found that after nine months of excessive internet use, rates of excessive users were 2.5 more than normal users.

How were the participants measured? The study used a series of self-rating scales to assess anxiety and depression, as well as an addiction test that asks questions like, “How often do you feel depressed, moody or nervous when you are offline?”

Dr. Lawrence T. Lam at the School of Medicine in Sydney, Australia has speculated that users often went days or weeks without getting enough sleep, which can contribute to depression and tended to react intensely to the online game world.

“Failure in the game-playing is as real as failure in other parts of their life,” Dr. Lam said.

NYTimes: “Behavior: Internet Use Tied to Depression in Youths”

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