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PLoS One. 2011 May 6;6(5):e19660. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019660.

Problematic Internet Use in high school students in Guangdong Province, China.

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  • 1Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Problematic Internet Use (PIU) is a growing problem in Chinese adolescents. There are many risk factors for PIU, which are found at school and at home. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence of PIU and to investigate the potential risk factors for PIU among high school students in China.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

A cross-sectional study was conducted. A total of 14,296 high school students were surveyed in four cities in Guangdong province. Problematic Internet Use was assessed by the 20-item Young Internet Addiction Test (YIAT). Information was also collected on demographics, family and school-related factors and Internet usage patterns. Of the 14,296 students, 12,446 were Internet users. Of those, 12.2% (1,515) were identified as problematic Internet users (PIUs). Generalized mixed-model regression revealed that there was no gender difference between PIUs and non-PIUs. High study-related stress, having social friends, poor relations with teachers and students and conflictive family relationships were risk factors for PIU. Students who spent more time on-line were more likely to develop PIU. The habits of and purposes for Internet usage were diverse, influencing the susceptibility to PIU.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

PIU is common among high school students, and risk factors are found at home and at school. Teachers and parents should pay close attention to these risk factors. Effective measures are needed to prevent the spread of this problem.

PMID:
21573073
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3089638
Free PMC Article
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