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Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2012 Sep;40(5):331-7; quiz 338-9. doi: 10.1024/1422-4917/a000190.

[Addictive internet use as a comorbid disorder among clients of an adolescent psychiatry - prevalence and psychopathological symptoms].

[Article in German]

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Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Grüsser-Sinopoli-Ambulanz für Spielsucht Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz.



Excessive and addictive internet use fulfilling criteria of nonsubstance related addiction disorder is increasingly being discussed by scientists and clinicians alike. Its prevalence of about 3 % among minors points to a relatively frequent phenomenon that can lead to functional impairment and distress. However, there is still no evidence concerning its prevalence among underaged patients in psychiatric treatment.


81 patients between the age of 8 and 17 years were screened by a standardized instrument for internet addiction (AICA-S) to assess the prevalence of internet addiction among minors being treated in psychiatric inpatient settings. Their clinical symptoms were examined using Youth Self-Report and Child Behavior Checklist.


11.3 % of the patients fulfilled the criteria of addictive internet use. These patients were older and more often affected by anxiety and depression than patients without internet addiction.


Data suggest that internet addiction is a relevant factor among minors in psychiatric institutions. Those with comorbid internet addiction show distinct patterns of psychopathology and may require disorder-specific treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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