Internet addiction linked to ADHD, depression in teens

Some children and teens are more likely than their peers to become addicted to the internet, and a new study suggests it’s more likely to happen if kids are depressed, hostile, or have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or social phobia, CNN reports. Although internet addiction is not an official diagnosis, signs of a potential problem include using the internet so much for game playing or other purposes that it interferes with everyday life and decision-making ability. Past research suggests that 1.4 percent to 17.9 percent of adolescents are addicted to the internet, with percentages higher in Eastern nations than in Western nations, according to a study published Oct. 5 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Researchers in Taiwan found that ADHD and hostility were linked to internet addiction in children in general. In girls, but not boys, depression and social phobia also predicted problems. Michael Gilbert, a senior fellow at the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, says the findings were no surprise. "The study’s indication that children who are hyperactive or diagnosed ADHD are finding an outlet on the web makes such perfect sense," he says, because those children crave the constant stimulation of fast-paced video games and interactive social networks…

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