Internet-Addicted Kids Are Aggressive, Study Says

from the if-you-accept-they-exist dept

A new study from Taiwan says that teens with signs of “internet addiction” are more prone to aggressive behavior than other kids. While the researcher behind the study says that it could simply be that violence-prone teens are more likely to be heavy internet users, rather than the internet somehow causing this sort of behavior, it’s hard to take anything that talks about “internet addicts” too seriously, since the evidence of internet addiction is fairly flimsy. The issue is that the “addictive” behavior — heavy internet use — is often just a hint or symptom of a bigger problem, something that some treatment centers for compulsive internet or video game users recognize. But this study sounds even flimsier than usual: it describes signs of internet addiction as “preoccupation with online activities; ‘withdrawal’ symptoms, like moodiness and irritability, after a few Internet-free days; and skipping other activities to devote more time to online ones.” That sounds an awful lot like general teenage behavior, just replace the internet with some other activity. It also goes on to say that teens who spend their time online researching and studying are less prone to aggression than those who go online for gambling and porn, among other activities. If anything, it sounds like the researcher understates the degree to which the tail is wagging the dog here.

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Comments on “Internet-Addicted Kids Are Aggressive, Study Says”

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Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Internet kids being aggressive

I agree, Carlo. In fact, having had a “difficult” teen years experience, I can say that while we didn’t have the Internet then, any sort of outlet, while it often resulted in more aggression in the short term, relieved the pressure somewhat, like a teapot whistling instead of blowing up.

I am pretty sure that, had I not had opportunities to “act up” in an aggressive way, there would have been an eventual explosion, which would have been a lot more unpleasant than the “acting up”, bad as it was!

AnotherHappyTechDirtReader says:

Causation Without Corrleation

This always kills me…I’ve even seen our senate members paly this same game. Many things can be correlated. However, correlation without causation is meaningless.

My favorite example from a mentor of mine…hope he doesn’t mind:

The data can show that the number of shark attacks increases with the number of ice cream sales. The solution to the shark problem…ban ice cream.

Anonymous Coward says:

Violence prone teenage boys

are frankly the result of nature, not technology. I cant speak to girls, cause I never was a teenage girl, but I do know that for boys there is a hormonal period in the late teens to early twenties when they are just quick to anger and full of energy (and frankly just more prone to violence). I would suspect this was as true in the cave as it is in the subburbs.

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