Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Internet use and depression

Teenagers who are obsessed with the internet could be more likely to suffer from depression. Researchers from the University of Notre Dame in Australia and Sun-Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China looked at the mental health and internet use of 1,041 students in Guangzhou. The students were asked about their internet use including questions such as "How often do your grades or school work suffer because of the amount of time you spend on-line?" and "How often do you fear that life without the internet would be boring, empty and joyless?" and about their mental health. 8% of the teenagers developed symptoms of depression over the course of the study while 6% of them were classified as having 'pathological' internet use. Those teenagers who had an unhealthy relationship with the internet were two-and-a-half times more likely to have developed depression by the end of the study. But it is still not clear whether heavy internet use makes people feel depressed or whether teenagers who feel depressed are more likely to be heavier internet users.

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