Young people who have unhealthy patterns of Internet use may face a greater risk of depression. Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV. Most teenagers are using the Internet these days. Statistics show that 93 percent of kids ages 12 to 17 are going online, compared to less than 75 percent 10 years ago. A new study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine measured some of the possible effects of extreme Internet use in young people. The researchers followed teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 who attended high schools in a region of China. They gave the kids an Internet addiction test to measure if they were using the Internet pathologically, which means using it to an unhealthy degree. The 20 questions asked them if they often stayed online longer than they'd intended, if they often neglected chores to spend time online, if their grades suffered because of their Internet time, and also addressed other issues. The young people who used the Internet pathologically were two and a half times more likely to have depression nine months later.
You can find the test for Internet addiction that the researchers used at www.netaddiction.com.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.