Psychiatric Comorbidity Assessed in Korean Children and Adolescents Who Screen Positive for Internet Addiction
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(5):821-826
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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This study aimed to evaluate
clinical comorbidity in children and adolescents
with Internet addiction by using structured interview.
Method: The study was performed in 2
stages. We screened for the presence of Internet
addiction among 455 children (mean ± SD
age = 11.0 ± 0.9 years) and 836 adolescents
(mean ± SD age = 15.8 ± 0.8 years) using Young's Internet
Addiction Scale. These subjects also completed a measure of psychopathology for comparison
between addicted and nonaddicted subjects. Sixty-three children (13.8%) and 170
adolescents (20.3%) screened positive for Internet
addiction. Of these, 12 children (male, N = 9; female,
N = 3) and 12 adolescents (male, N = 11; female, N = 1) were randomly selected for evaluation of
current psychiatric diagnoses. Structured interviews
used were K-SADS - PL - K for children and SCID-IV for adolescents. Data were collected and
interviews were conducted from August 2003 through October 2004.
Results: In the child group, 7 were
diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) not otherwise specified including
those with subthreshold levels. Mean DuPaul's ADHD Rating Scale scores were more than 20%
higher than the mean in Korean children for 6
subjects. In the adolescent group, 3 subjects had major
depressive disorder, 1 had schizophrenia, and 1
had obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Conclusion: By structured interview,
we found that Internet-addicted subjects had
various comorbid psychiatric disorders. The most
closely related comorbidities differ with age. Though
we can not conclude that Internet addiction is a
cause or consequence of these disorders, clinicians
must consider the possibility of age-specific
comorbid psychiatric disorders in cases of Internet