Excessive and pathological Internet use – Risk-behavior or psychopathology?

Kaess, Michael; Klar, Johanna; Kindler, Jochen; Parzer, Peter; Brunner, Romuald; Carli, Vladimir; Sarchiapone, Marco; Hoven, Christina W.; Apter, Alan; Balazs, Judit; Barzilay, Shira; Bobes, Julio; Cozman, Doina; Gomboc, Vanja; Haring, Christian; Kahn, Jean-Pierre; Keeley, Helen; Meszaros, Gergely; Musa, George J.; Postuvan, Vita; ... (2021). Excessive and pathological Internet use – Risk-behavior or psychopathology? Addictive behaviors, 123(107045), p. 107045. Elsevier 10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107045

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Pathological Internet use (but only with respect to gaming) is classified as mental disorder in the ICD-11. However, there is a large group of adolescents showing excessive Internet use, which may rather be considered adolescent risk-behavior. The aim was to test whether pathological and excessive Internet use should be considered as "psychopathology" or "risk-behavior". A representative, cross-sectional sample of 11.110 students from 10 European Union countries was analyzed. Structural equation models, including the factors "risk-behavior" and "psychopathology" and the variables excessive and pathological Internet use, were tested against each other. "Risk-behavior" was operationalized by several risk-behaviors (e.g. drug abuse, truancy, etc). "Psychopathology" included measures of several mental disorders (e.g. depression, hyperactivity, etc). Excessive Internet use was assessed as the duration and frequency of Internet use. Pathological Internet use was assessed with the Young Diagnostic Questionnaire (i.e., presence of addiction criteria). Excessive Internet use loaded on "risk-behavior" (λ = 0.484, p < .001) and on "psychopathology" (λ = 0.071, p < .007). Pathological Internet use loaded on "risk-behavior" (λ = 0.333, p < .001) and on "psychopathology" (λ = 0.852, p < .001). Chi-square tests determined that the loadings of excessive Internet use (χ2 (1) = 81.98, p < .001) were significantly stronger on "risk-behavior" than "psychopathology". Vice versa, pathological Internet use loaded significantly stronger on "psychopathology" (χ2 (1) = 107.10, p < .001). The results indicate that pathological Internet use should rather be considered as psychopathology. Excessive Internet use on the other hand, should be classified as adolescent risk-behavior.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Research Division

UniBE Contributor:

Kaess, Michael; Klar, Johanna and Kindler, Jochen

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0306-4603

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Chantal Michel

Date Deposited:

15 Oct 2021 10:54

Last Modified:

17 Oct 2021 03:09

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107045

PubMed ID:

34332272

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/159787

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/159787

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