by Carlo Longino

Filed Under:
addiction, aggression, internet

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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 3:55am


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 5:33am

    im not going to argue on the point of internet addiction, but i like the fact that it wasn't blamed on the internet since they recognize the coloration and accept the fact that it could be the other way around.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Jesse, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 7:24am

    If someone devoted all their time to a sports team we would be congratulating them rather than knocking them. They would probably be fairly aggressive too. But pick something that varies from the norm and all of a sudden it is an illness.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Sat-chan, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    It's amazing that there's a study on this. Do these researchers know what's on the internet? Perhaps they should see what websites those 'addicted' people are on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 9:11am

    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!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    AnotherHappyTechDirtReader, Feb 26th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 27th, 2009 @ 7:05am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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