Thu, Feb 26, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Study links Web addiction and teen aggressiveness

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A recent study by Taiwanese researchers found that Internet addiction could contribute to aggressive behavior in teenagers.

In a research paper published online by the Journal of Adolescent Health on Tuesday, Kaohsiung Medical University researchers said they had found that teenagers addicted to the Internet, especially those in junior-high school, showed more aggressive behavior than their counterparts in senior and vocational high schools.

The study by psychiatrists Ko Chih-hung (柯志鴻), Yen Ju-yu (顏如佑) and others polled 9,405 adolescents about their Internet activities and behavior to evaluate the relation between Internet addiction and aggressive behavior.

Twenty-five percent of male respondents and 13 percent of females were considered addicted to the Internet.

Thirteen percent of girls and 32 percent of boys had demonstrated aggressive behavior in the past year, such as threatening others.

Among those considered addicted to the Internet, 37 percent had reported aggressive behavior the previous year.

“Online chatting, adult sex Web viewing, online gaming, online gambling and [surfing the] Bulletin Board System were all associated with aggressive behaviors” because teenagers might have the opportunity to “observe, experience and try aggressive behaviors [on the Internet] resulting in positive outcome, [such as] identification in a group, being a hero or winning in games,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

They emphasized the need for parents and teachers to intervene as early as possible to prevent teenagers from becoming addicted to the Internet.

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