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Teenager Addicted to the Internet Tend to Self Harm More


An Australian-Chinese study surveyed 1,618 adolescents aged 13 to 18 from China's Guangdong Province. The researchers were looking at behavior such as this age group hitting themselves, pulling their own hair, or pinching or burning themselves, and gave them a test to gauge Internet addiction.

Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is when people using the web do so in a compulsive and out-of-control manner and has been classified as a mental health problem since the mid-1990s.

Dr. Lawrence Lam from the University of Notre Dame Australia. And his researchers did a survey and discovered that about 10 percent of the students were moderately addicted to the Internet, while less than one percent were severely addicted. The students that were categorized as being moderately addicted to the Internet seemed to be 2.4 times more likely to have self-injured in the past 6 months than students versus without the internet addiction.

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"In recent years, with the greater availability of the Internet in most Asian countries, Internet addiction has become an increasing mental problem among adolescents," the researchers said in their study published in the journal Injury Prevention.
"Many studies have reported associations between Internet addiction, psychiatric symptoms and depression among adolescents," says Lam.

The researchers stated that their results suggest that there is a "strong and significant" association between Internet addiction and self-injury in adolescents aged 13 to 18. Researchers even accounted for other variables previously associated with the behavior, including depression, family dissatisfaction, or stressful life events.

The research team said this suggested that Internet addiction is an independent risk factor for self-injurious behavior. Experts interpret Internet addiction as feelings of depression, nervousness, moodiness when not online, which only go away when the addict gets back online. Fantasizing or being preoccupied about being online can be some of the signs of Internet addiction. Other signs can include, lying about usage time, staying up late and not sleeping, avoiding homework, family and friend and showing signs of moodiness, anger and blaming.

Researchers stated that more research needs to be done; however, their research for now concludes that teenagers addicted to the internet seem to self harm more.