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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2003 Dec;6(6):653-6.

Internet addiction in students: a cause of concern.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Punjabi University, Patiala, India.


The Internet was originally designed to facilitate communication and research activities. However, the dramatic increase in the use of the Internet in recent years has led to pathological use (Internet addiction). This study is a preliminary investigation of the extent of Internet addiction in school children 16-18 years old in India. The Davis Online Cognition Scale (DOCS) was used to assess pathological Internet use. On the basis of total scores obtained (N = 100) on the DOCS, two groups were identified--dependents (18) and non-dependents (21), using mean +/- 1/2 SD as the criterion for selection. The UCLA loneliness scale was also administered to the subjects. Significant behavioral and functional usage differences were revealed between the two groups. Dependents were found to delay other work to spend time online, lose sleep due to late-night logons, and feel life would be boring without the Internet. The hours spent on the Internet by dependents were greater than those of non-dependents. On the loneliness measure, significant differences were found between the two groups, with the dependents scoring higher than the non-dependents.

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