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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 11, Pages 866-874
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2011.85
Case Study

Determinants of Internet Addiction among Adolescents: A Case-Control Study

1Adolescent Health Unit (A.H.U.), Second University Department of Pediatrics, “P. & A. Kyriakou” Children's Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine, Greece
2Second University Department of Pediatrics, “P. & A. Kyriakou” Children's Hospital, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Medicine, Greece

Received 21 December 2010; Revised 7 March 2011; Accepted 18 March 2011

Academic Editor: Daniel T. L. Shek

Copyright © 2011 Artemis Tsitsika et al.

Abstract

Internet Addiction (IA) is associated with adverse psychosocial development and mental disorders. The study aims were to evaluate the psychosocial profiles and psychiatric comorbidities associated with IA among adolescents. A case-control study was conducted among 129 adolescents in the outpatient setting of the Adolescent Health Unit of the Second University Department of Pediatrics in Athens, Greece. The case group consisted of 86 adolescents with IA as evaluated following psychiatric interview with two independent examiners. The control group consisted of 43 adolescents without IA, frequency matched for age and gender with case group participants. The study findings indicated that adolescents with IA were significantly more likely to have divorced parents (p = 0.012) and/or dysfunctional familial relationships (p < 0.0001). The proportion of adolescents with poor academic performance (p < 0.0001) and unexcused school absences (p = 0.004) was greater among those with IA. Moreover, approximately two-thirds of the adolescents with IA were engaged in high-risk behaviors (p < 0.0001). Finally, adolescents with IA were 3.89 times more likely to present with comorbid psychiatric conditions (CI 95%: 1.19–12.70), including depression (10.5 vs. 0%; p = 0.022). Adolescent IA is associated with deterred familial functions, poor academic performance, engagement in high-risk behaviors, and an augmented likelihood for depression.