Internet Use and Mental Health

A recently published piece from Reuters reports on a study conducted in China that examined the contributions of internet use to developing depression. The study was conducted with more than 1,000 Guangzhou teenagers, and it administered a survey about their internet usage and mental health. The research continued nine months later by distributing a follow-up survey to those same high school students.

After evaluating the data, researchers discovered that of the students who initially exhibited no outward signs of depression, those who reported using an "unhealthy" amount of internet were 2.5 times as likely to develop depressive symptoms by the time of the second survey. The study classified internet usage according to the categories from Dr. Kimberly Young's Internet Addiction Scale. After employing these categories, about 6% of students from the study qualified as having "moderate" pathological internet use, while another 2% qualified for the "severe" label. 8% of the students developed depressive symptoms by the end of the study.

However it's also important to keep in mind that the study only measured the effects of internet use on depression. What it did not do was measure the effects of other factors, like psychological issues, in developing mental health problems. Although the research does bring to light important themes like addiction and mental health, the article still mentions that there has been too little research on the subject to conclude whether an addiction to using the internet even exists.
SSDAN Office

1 comment :