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J Adolesc. 2011 Feb;34(1):49-58. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Internet use and video gaming predict problem behavior in early adolescence.

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Johannes Kepler University Linz, Department of Education and Psychology, Altenberger Str. 69, A-4040 Linz, Austria.


In early adolescence, the time spent using the Internet and video games is higher than in any other present-day age group. Due to age-inappropriate web and gaming content, the impact of new media use on teenagers is a matter of public and scientific concern. Based on current theories on inappropriate media use, a study was conducted that comprised 205 adolescents aged 10-14 years (Md = 13). Individuals were identified who showed clinically relevant problem behavior according to the problem scales of the Youth Self Report (YSR). Online gaming, communicational Internet use, and playing first-person shooters were predictive of externalizing behavior problems (aggression, delinquency). Playing online role-playing games was predictive of internalizing problem behavior (including withdrawal and anxiety). Parent-child communication about Internet activities was negatively related to problem behavior.

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