Unravelling the Web: Adolescents and Internet Addiction

Unravelling the Web: Adolescents and Internet Addiction

Laura Widyanto (Nottingham Trent University, UK) and Mark Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch719


It has been alleged by some academics that excessive Internet use can be pathological and addictive. This chapter reviews what is known from the empirical literature on “Internet addiction” and its derivatives (e.g., Internet Addiction Disorder, Pathological Internet Use etc.) and assesses to what extent it exists. The chapter briefly overviews (i) the history and concept of Internet addiction, (ii) research on (adolescent and adult) Internet addiction, (iii) the attraction of the online world to adolescents, (iv) Internet users in their own words, an (v) an examination of online versus offline identity. The chapter has demonstrated that research into adolescent Internet addiction is a relatively little studied phenomenon although most effects found among adult users are thought to occur among adolescents too. In conclusion it would appear that if Internet addiction does indeed exist, it affects only a relatively small percentage of the online population and there is very little evidence that it is problematic among adolescents.

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