Aug 6, 2010

Could the Internet Cause Depression in Children?

Could the Internet Cause Depression in Children?

A recent study published on the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicinal online journal reported that teens who are addicted to the internet are more likely to have relationship problems, aggressive behavior, and become depressed.  Internet addiction is a type of "process addiction" -- an addiction to an activity or process such as gambling and spending money.  Don't confuse this with a substance addiction, which involves the ingesting of a particular substance.  Both types of addictions can have serious side effects in a persons life and relationships.  While sociological studies like this are not an exact science, this does make sense.

Michael Gilbert, a senior fellow at the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California, studied this issue.  He suggested that the main cause in this process addiction, and the consequent negative social behaviors, lies in the fact the internet isolates and alienates the user. This is a problem for impressionable teens who already struggle to define their self concept and appropriate social behaviors.

Key in this, is for parents to monitor the time and content of their child's use of the internet and other electronic media.




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