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Case study: the internet as a developmental tool in an adolescent boy with psychosis.

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1
Youth Services Division, Merced County Department of Mental Health, Merced, CA 95340, USA. mdaley@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

The Internet has become an increasingly important part of teen culture; however, there still remains little in the medical/psychiatric literature pertaining to the impact of the Internet on adolescent development. Despite the potential problems associated with communication online, the Internet offers a variety of positive opportunities for teens. In this report, we present a case study that illustrates the Internet as a helpful tool in a 15-year-old adolescent boy with a history of chronic neurological illness accompanied by refractory psychosis. Although the case emphasizes some of the ways in which the Internet may have a positive impact on adolescent development, further research is indicated to evaluate the contexts in which the Internet serves healthy developmental processes and those in which its influence is potentially deleterious.

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