Teens’ internet addiction now a bigger concern than substance abuse

This news has been read 2061 times!

Study reveals that parents are more worried about their teenagers’ internet addiction than substance abuse.

NEW YORK, Nov 1, (Agencies): A recent study reveals that parents are more worried about their teenagers’ internet addiction than substance abuse. Published in JAMA Network Open on October 26, the survey highlights the increasing concerns surrounding adolescents’ internet use, particularly regarding social media and video games.

Parents of children aged 9 to 15 are grappling with the dual nature of the internet’s impact. While it can foster family connectedness, it also raises concerns about potential negative consequences such as cyberbullying and addiction.

Michael Milham, M.D., Ph.D., the vice president and director of research at the Child Mind Institute in New York City and the study’s author, emphasizes the need for a comprehensive discussion on the impact of internet technologies on youth. He suggests that it’s essential to consider both the positive and negative effects and acknowledge that experiences may vary among families. The study underscores the necessity for greater education and support for parents who are uncertain about promoting healthy internet use in their adolescents from a public health perspective.

The research involved an online survey of 1,000 parents of U.S. youth between the ages of 9 and 15, conducted between June 17 and July 5, 2022. The survey assessed parents’ perceptions of the risks and benefits of internet use in areas such as their children’s physical and cognitive development, safety, potential for addiction, and family connectedness.

The concerns regarding technology’s impact on the mental health of children and teenagers have grown as online activities increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Excessive internet use has been associated with various mental health problems, including higher rates of alcohol dependence, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It has also been linked to difficulties in socializing, holding healthy conversations, feeling comfortable in social settings, and showing empathy.

The survey showed that approximately one-third of the parents expressed concerns about addiction, whether to the internet or substances. An equivalent number of parents had concerns about only one of these types of addiction, while another third had no worries about addiction at all. Overall, concerns about internet addiction outweighed those related to substance abuse.

Dr. Zachary Ginder, a psychological consultant and doctor of clinical psychology, emphasized the growing apprehension about problematic internet use among youth. However, he stressed the need for more research to definitively determine the validity of these concerns.

Notably, the potential for addiction was most evident in the context of social media and video gaming. The study highlights the growing influence of internet use in children’s lives and the importance of monitoring potential harmful usage patterns.

One limitation of the study is that it only represents the parents’ perspectives and does not include the viewpoints of the adolescents themselves. The researchers suggest that speaking directly to teenagers on the issue could provide valuable insights.

In conclusion, while parents express both benefits and concerns about their adolescents’ internet use, it’s important to strike a balance and ensure that parental concerns align with the actual rate of youth internet dependency. The study emphasizes the need for scientific knowledge, safeguards, and clinical resources to support parents in promoting and maintaining healthy internet technology use among their young adolescents.

This news has been read 2061 times!

Related Articles

Back to top button

Advt Blocker Detected

Kindly disable the Ad blocker

Verified by MonsterInsights