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Problematic Internet Users and Psychiatric Morbidity in a Sample of Egyptian Adolescents

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2012.38096    4,826 Downloads   8,027 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: A growing body of research suggests that Problematic Internet use is becoming more common in society as on-line usage increases everyday. Is psychiatric morbidity common among problematic internet users? What are the characteristics of these patients? Methods: 501 adolescents (295 males), 11 - 18 years old, recruited from 2 private (group 1) and 2 governmental schools (group 2). All were subjected to A Psychiatric sheet, An Informative designed questionnaire, Fahmy and El Sherbiny’s Social Classification Scale, Young internet addiction test (IAT), and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for children and adolescents (MINI KID). Results: Comparison between the two groups in regard places of use of internet, number of computers available, money spent on internet activities, parental knowledge of use, duration of use and purpose of use, revealed significant differences. Problematic internet use was more frequent in group 1, while internet addiction was more frequent in group 2. A significant relation was found between IAT score and social phobia, specific phobia and oppositional defiant disorder, and a highly significant relation with generalized anxiety disorder and ADHD. Female sex, horror movies and internet problematic use are independent predictors of psychiatric morbidity. Male sex, private schools, high social class are independent predictors for internet use problems in our sample. Conclusion: This study revealed that Egyptian adolescents are at high risk for problematic internet use and to a lesser extent Internet Addiction. Adolescents with Problematic Internet use were more prone to psychiatric disorders (social phobia, specific phobia, oppositional defiant disorders, generalized anxiety disorder and ADHD)

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Reda, M. , Rabie, M. , Mohsen, N. & Hassan, A. (2012). Problematic Internet Users and Psychiatric Morbidity in a Sample of Egyptian Adolescents. Psychology, 3, 626-631. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.38096.

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