Internet addiction may contribute to depression in teens

By Staff Writer

Due in part to the growing ubiquity of high-speed internet, an increasing portion of the public is developing technology addictions. While the condition may be unhealthy in and of itself, a recent study found that pathological internet use may contribute to depression in teens. The co-occurring conditions may result in a greater need for therapy from addiction treatment centers.

Researchers from the Sydney School of Medicine in Australia examined 1,618 high school students between the ages of 13 and 18. They administered questionnaires that were designed to measure internet addiction as well as depressive symptoms.

After adjusting for potentially confounding factors, such as financial stress or problems at school, they found that students whose internet use was categorized as pathological were 2.5 times more likely to exhibit depressive symptoms.

Researchers said that the findings have major implications for the prevention of mental health problems, particularly in young people. The findings confirm previous research from the American Psychological Association, which suggested that excessive internet use may contribute to feelings of loneliness and depression.