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Inj Prev. 2009 Dec;15(6):403-8. doi: 10.1136/ip.2009.021949.

The association between internet addiction and self-injurious behaviour among adolescents.

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Discipline of Paediatric and Child Health, The University of Sydney, Australia.



To examine the association between internet addiction and self-injurious behaviour (SIB) in adolescence.


Population-based cross-sectional survey of 1618 high school students aged 13-18 years in Guangzhou city, Guangdong Province, PR China. Deliberate SIB was measured using self-reported questionnaire; internet addiction was assessed using the Internet Addiction Test (IAT).


263 (16.3%) participants reported having committed some form of SIB in the past 6 months. 73 (4.5%) had committed SIB 6 times or more, and 157 (9.7%) 1-5 times. The majority of respondents were classified as normal users of the internet (n = 1392, 89.2%), with 158 (10.2%) moderately and 10 (0.6%) severely addicted to the internet. After adjusting for potential confounders, the odds ratio for SIB was 2.0 (95% CI 1.1 to 3.7) for those who were classified as moderately and severely addicted to the internet when compared to the normal group.


SIB is common in adolescence in the study population in China. Addiction to the internet is detrimental to mental health and increases the risk of self-injury among adolescents. Clinicians need to be aware of potential co-morbidities of other addictions among adolescent self-injured patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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