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Adolescent Internet Addiction

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The use of the internet has become essential to today’s world with the availability of all types of information found at the click of a computer mouse. For adolescents the internet can help with schoolwork, but it also provides a platform for communication and entertainment with the world. Because relationships, information and gaming are readily available, it is possible for adolescents to become addicted to the internet and what it offers. The desire to be connected to the internet can inhibit an adolescent’s social, school and personal life and the causes, symptoms, research, treatment and prevention of adolescent internet addiction are essential to understanding and treating the addiction.

The causes of adolescent internet addiction are outlined by a number of triggering factors. Help Guide (2008) outlines risk factors that can cause adolescents to become addicted to the internet. The first three factors are anxiety, depression and stress. The website states that adolescents may use the internet to distract themselves from the worries and fears that make them anxious and may also use the internet to escape from depression and stress which can further contribute to isolation and stress. The website also states that those who suffer from other addictions, lack of social support, unhappiness, becoming less mobile and socially active and stress can also contribute to the development of internet addiction in adolescents. Having other addictions such as gambling or alcohol are found in many adolescents who suffer from internet addiction. Having a lack of social support offline can cause adolescents to seek new relationships online in order to fulfill their social needs. This ties in with being unhappy and becoming more comforta...

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Costea, I., Jinaru, A., Munteanu, A., Palos, R. (2009). Psychological and behavior aspects regarding internet addiction. Annals of DAAAM & Proceedings. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Annals-DAAAM-Proceedings/224712930.html

Grohol, J. (2012). Internet Addiction Guide. Psych Central. http://psychcentral.com/netaddiction/

Help Guide. (n.d.). Internet Addiction. HelpGuide. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/internet_cybersex_addiction.htm

Pomerantz, J. (2008). When does Internet use become an addiction?. Drug Benefit Trends. http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxylocal.library.nova.edu/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA189047675&v=2.1&u=novaseu_main&it=r&p=GPS&sw=w

Smith, D. (2008). Addiction to internet 'is an illness'. The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/mar/23/news.internet
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