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Study: Internet “addiction” might fuel teen aggression

According to a new study, certain online activities might encourage kids to "release their anger" or otherwise be aggressive in ways they normally would not in the real world, Reuters reports. Whether this eventually pushes teens to be more aggressive in real life is not yet clear, the study said. In a study of more than 9,400 Taiwanese teenagers, the researchers found that those with signs of internet "addiction" were more likely to say they had hit, shoved, or threatened someone in the past year. The link remained when the investigators accounted for several other factors–including the teenagers’ scores on measures of self-esteem and depression, as well as their exposure to TV violence. The findings, published online by the Journal of Adolescent Health, don’t prove that internet addiction breeds violent behavior in children. But they do add to evidence from other studies that media can influence children’s behavior. They also suggest that parents should pay close attention to their teens’ internet use and its potential effects on their real-life behavior, researchers said. Online chatting, gambling and gaming, and spending time in online forums or adult pornography sites were all linked to aggressive behavior. In contrast, teens who devoted their time to online research and studying were less likely than their peers to be violence-prone…

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