Clinical Psychology
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Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Internet Use Disorder: Prevalence

Since the diagnostic criteria for Internet Use Disorder have not yet been fully established, previous studies on the prevalence of Internet Use Disorder can only be compared to some extent, since diangnostic criteria varied between countries and research groups.

In previous studies prevalence rates of Internet Use Disorder have been estimated to be between 1 and 10%. Further studies are required.

© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

Prevalence of Internet Use Disorder among Adolescents and Minors

Several studies on the prevalence of Internet Use Disorder reported prevalence rates of about 1.5 to 8% among minors, with higher prevalence rates in minors with a history of other mental health problems.

© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

 

Epidemiological Studies

Johansson and Götestam assessed the prevalence of Internet addiction in a sample of 3237 Norwegian adolescents age 12 -18 (response rate 45.2%). According to the authors about 2% of the adolescents (boys 2.4%, girls 1.5%) could be described as having an Internet addiction (cf. Johansson 2004).

Kaltiala-Heino et al. conducted a survey of 7292 Finns age 12-18 years. About 1.5% of the adolescents fulfilled criteria for an Internet addiction (cf. Kaltiala-Heino 2004).

In a recent article Poli and Agrimi reported on a survey of 2533 Italian students. The majority of respondents (94%) were classified as normal users of the Internet, 5% as moderately addicted and 0.8% as seriously addicted (cf. Poli 2012). In an older Italian study Pallanti et al. reported a rate of Internet addiction of about 5.4% in a sample of 275 Italian students (cf. Pallanti 2006).

Slightly higher rates (8.2%) were reported by Siomos et al.  among Greek adolescents age 12 to 18 (cf. Siomos 2008).

Among Iranian high-school students Ghassemzadeh reported rates of Internet addiciton of about 3.8% (cf. Ghassemzadeh 2008).

In a sample of 1573 Korean high-school students Kim et al. diagnosed 1.6 as Internet addicts and 38% as possible Internet addicts (cf. Kim 2006).

In one of the largest surveys so far, Xu et al. assessed the prevalence of Internet addiction in a sample of 5122 Chinese students. 8.8% of the adolescents showed symptoms of Internet Use Disorder (cf. Xu 2012).

Among 81 clients of an adolescent psychiatric institution in Germany between the age of 8 and 17 years, Müller et al. found a prevalence of 11% of comorbid addictive internet use (cf. Müller 2012 a).

© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

 

Further Reading...

 

“Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment”

by K.S. Young and C. Nabuco de Abreu (Editors)

Kimberley S. Young, the researcher who first brought clinical attention to the issue of problematic Internet use, and Christiano Nabuco de Abreu, director of the Integrated Impulsive Disorders Outpatient Unit at the University of San Paulo, provide with “Internet Addiction - A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment” an up to date overview on Internet addiction, the treatment options and strategies for prevention.

This book on Amazon.com >>

 

References

Internet Use Disorder: Prevalence

Byun S, Ruffini C, Mills JE, Douglas AC, Niang M, Stepchenkova S, Lee SK, Loutfi J, Lee JK, Atallah M, Blanton M (2009). Internet addiction: metasynthesis of 1996-2006 quantitative research. Cyberpsychol Behav 12(2):203-7.
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Ghassemzadeh L, Shahraray M, Moradi A (2008). Prevalence of internet addiction and comparison of internet addicts and non-addicts in Iranian high schools. Cyberpsychol Behav 11(6): 731-3.
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Johansson A, Götestam KG (2004). Internet addiction: characteristics of a questionnaire and prevalence in Norwegian youth (12-18 years). Scand J Psychol 45(3): 223–9.
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Kaltiala-Heino R, Lintonen T, Rimpela A (2004). Internet addiction? Potentially problematic use of the Internet in a population of 12-18 year-old adolescents. Addiction Research and Theory 12(1): 89–96.
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Kim K, Ryu E, Chon MY, Yeun EJ, Choi SY, Seo JS, Nam BW (2006). Internet addiction in Korean adolescents and its relation to depression and suicidal ideation: a questionnaire survey. Int J Nurs Stud 43(2): 185–92.
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Müller KW, Ammerschläger M, Freisleder FJ, Beutel ME, Wölfling K (2012 a). Suchtartige Internetnutzung als komorbide Störung im jugendpsychiatrischen Setting: Prävalenz und psychopathologische Symptombelastung. Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother 40(5): 331-7.
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Müller KW, Koch A, Beutel ME, Dickenhorst U, Medenwaldt J, Wölfling K (2012 b). Komorbide Internetsucht unter Patienten der stationären Suchtrehabilitation: Eine explorative Erhebung zur klinischen Prävalenz. Psychiatr Prax 39(6): 286-92.
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Pallanti S, Bernardi S, Quercioli L (2006). The Shorter PROMIS Questionnaire and the Internet Addiction Scale in the assessment of multiple addictions in a high-school population: prevalence and related disability. CNS Spectr 11(12): 966-74.
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Poli R, Agrimi E (2012). Internet addiction disorder: Prevalence in an Italian student population. Nord J Psychiatry 66(1) 55-9.
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Rumpf HJ, Meyer C, Kreuzer A, John U (2011). Prävalenz der Internetabhängigkeit (PINTA). Greifswald/Lübeck: Bericht an das Bundesministerium für Gesundheit v. 31.05.2011.
Full text (pdf) >>

Siomos KE, Dafouli ED, Braimiotis DA, Mouzas OD, Angelopoulos NV(2008). Internet addiction among Greek adolescent students. Cyberpsychol Behav 11(6): 653-7.
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Weinstein A, Lejoyeux M (2010). Internet addiction or excessive Internet use. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 36(5): 277–83.
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Xu J, Shen LX, Yan CH, Hu H, Yang F, Wang L, Kotha SR, Zhang LN, Liao XP, Zhang J, Ouyang FX, Zhang JS, Shen XM (2012). Personal characteristics related to the risk of adolescent internet addiction: a survey in Shanghai, China. BMC Public Health 22(12):1106.
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Full text (pdf) >>
 

Internet Use Disorder: Reviews
 

Cash H, Rae CD, Steel AH, Winkler A (2012). Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice. Curr Psychiatry Rev 8(4): 292–8.
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Full text (pdf) >>

Chakraborty K, Basu D, Vijaya Kumar KG (2010). Internet addiction: consensus, controversies, and the way ahead. East Asian Arch Psychiatry 20(3): 123-32.
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Full text (pdf) >>

Huang XQ, Li MC, Tao R (2010). Treatment of Internet Addiction. Current Psychiatry Reports 12(5): 462-70.
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Petersen KU, Weymann N, Schelb Y, Thiel R, Thomasius R (2009). Pathologischer Internetgebrauch - Epidemiologie, Diagnostik, komorbide Störungen und Behandlungsansätze. Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr 77(5):263-71.
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Peukert P, Sieslack S, Barth G, Batra A (2010). Internet- and computer game addiction: Phenomenology, comorbidity, etiology, diagnostics and therapeutic implications for the addictives and their relatives. Psychiatr Prax 37(5): 219-24.
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Shaw M, Black DW (2008). Internet addiction: definition, assessment, epidemiology and clinical management. CNS Drugs 22(5): 353-65.
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van Rooij AJ, Zinn MF, Schoenmakers TM, van de Mheen D (2012). Treating Internet Addiction With Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A Thematic Analysis of the Experiences of Therapists. Int J Ment Health Addiction 10(1): 69-82.
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Winkler A, Dörsing B, Rief W, Shen Y, Glombiewski JA (2013). Treatment of internet addiction: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review 33: 317–329.
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Wölfling K, Bühler M, Leménager T, Mörsen C, Mann K (2009). Gambling and internet addiction. Review and research agenda [Article in German]. Nervenarzt 80(9): 1030–9.
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Young KS (1998 a). Caught in the net. How to recognize the signs of internet addiction and a winning strategy for recovery. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
This book on Amazon.com >>

Young KS (1998 b). Internet addiction: The emergence of a new clinical disorder. Cyberpsychol Behav 1(3): 237–44.
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© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.com
 

 




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© Sandra Elze, M.D. & Michael Elze, M.D.
Prien am Chiemsee / Rosenheim, www.Dr-Elze.org
Last updated: 03-24-2016
 

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