Internet Addiction and Self-Evaluated Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Traits Among Japanese College Students
The study was partially supported by a Research Grant to M.T. from Sapporo Medical Association (H26). A.T. is a Veterans Health Administration Health Service Research and Development Career Development Awardee (CDA 14-428).
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Aim: Internet addiction (IA), also referred to as Internet use disorder, is a serious problem all over the world, especially in Asian countries. Severe IA in students may be linked to academic failure, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and forms of social withdrawal, such as hikikomori. In this study, we performed a survey to investigate the relation between IA and ADHD symptoms among college students.
Methods: Severity of IA and ADHD traits was assessed by self-report scales. Subjects were 403 college students (response rate 78%) who completed a questionnaire including Young's Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale–V1.1.
Results: Out of 403 subjects, 165 were male. The mean age was 18.4 ± 1.2 years, and mean total IAT score was 45.2 ± 12.6. One hundred forty-eight respondents (36.7%) were average Internet users (IAT < 40), 240 (59.6%) had possible addiction (IAT 40–69), and 15 (3.7%) had severe addiction (IAT ≥ 70). Mean length of Internet use was 4.1 ± 2.8 h/day on weekdays and 5.9 ± 3.7 h/day on the weekend. Females used the Internet mainly for social networking services while males preferred online games. Students with a positive ADHD screen scored significantly higher on the IAT than those negative for ADHD screen (50.2 ± 12.9 vs 43.3 ± 12.0).
Conclusion: Our results suggest that Internet misuse may be related to ADHD traits among Japanese youth. Further investigation of the links between IA and ADHD is warranted.
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Tateno, M., Teo, A. R., Shirasaka, T., Tayama, M., Watabe, M. and Kato, T. A. (2016), Internet addiction and self-evaluated attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder traits among Japanese college students. Psychiatry Clin. Neurosci., 70: 567–572. doi:10.1111/pcn.12454