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Researchers link internet addiction to self-harm

Internet addiction study
Internet addiction study

Researchers are suggesting that internet addicts are far more likely to cause self-harm, although the results bear far greater scrutiny.

In an academic study conducted, rather bizarrely, by Australian and Chinese Universities, 1,618 adolescents (13-18) were interviewed over their internet behaviour.

10 per cent of those surveyed were judged as having a 'moderate' internet addiction – that's around 160. Of those, the likelihood of self harm 'one to five times in the past six months' was 2.4 times that of the rest of the sample.

Austro-Chinese research

The research was carried out on students from China's Guangdong Province, and research carried out by the University of Notre Dame Australia and Sun Yat-Sen University.

"In recent years, with the greater availability of the Internet in most Asian countries, Internet addiction has become an increasing mental problem among adolescents," the researchers said in their study published in the journal Injury Prevention.

"Many studies have reported associations between Internet addiction, psychiatric symptoms and depression among adolescents."

Of course, the stats are worrying and of course they should be taken seriously, but with a sample size of less than 2,000 and in a province of China – we have to confess that we're not jumping to the same conclusions that internet addiction and self-harm go hand in hand just yet.