Internet addiction in school going adolescents of different socio economic classes in Western India

Shailaja Mane, Shradha Salunkhe, Manu Batta, Sharad Agarkhedkar, Gaurav Kumar

Abstract


Background: Adolescents use internet as the primary medium for communication and socialization. But excessive use of internet may affect family and interpersonal relationships, academic performance and emotional development among adolescents. Excessive and incorrect use of internet is identified as Internet Addiction (IA). The present study was conducted to assess the pattern of internet use among school going adolescents of different socio-economic status as there are growing concerns worldwide for internet addiction. Methods: After taking consent of school principal, students were given a questionnaire for socio-demographic details. Internet addiction test (IAT) was explained to them. Results: In this study maximum number of children had moderate (50-79) level of internet addiction test score i.e. 317 (63.4%), 120 (24%) were in mild (20-49) level of internet addiction test score, 56 (11.2%) were in severe (80 – 100) level of internet addiction test score. Internet addiction is more common in boys than girls. Socio economic class II children had significantly more internet addiction score thanclass III andIV in study group (p<0.0001). Conclusion: In this study, prevalence of internet addiction is high among boys of 12 to 17 years. Internet addiction should be lowered with the help of media literacy. As addiction of media is increasing, there is an urgentneed to use a comprehensive approach combining periodical awareness to the students and parents andincorporating good practices of internet use.

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