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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2008 Feb;62(1):9-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2007.01770.x.

Psychiatric symptoms in adolescents with Internet addiction: Comparison with substance use.

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Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Taiwan.



The aim of the present study was to compare psychiatric symptoms between adolescents with and without Internet addiction, as well as between analogs with and without substance use.


A total of 3662 students (2328 male and 1334 female) were recruited for the study. Self-report scales were utilized to assess psychiatric symptoms, Internet addiction, and substance use.


It was found that Internet addiction or substance use in adolescents was associated with more severe psychiatric symptoms. Hostility and depression were associated with Internet addiction and substance use after controlling for other symptoms.


This result partially supports the hypothesis that Internet addiction should be included in the organization of problem behavior theory, and it is suggested that prevention and intervention can best be carried out when grouped with other problem behaviors. Moreover, more attention should be devoted to hostile and depressed adolescents in the design of preventive strategies and the related therapeutic interventions for Internet addiction.

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