Home > Pathological internet use and risk-behaviors among European adolescents.

Durkee, Tony and Carli, Vladimir and Floderus, Birgitta and Wasserman, Camilla and Sarchiapone, Marco and Apter, Alan and Balazs, Judit A and Bobes, Julio and Brunner, Romuald and Corcoran, Paul and Cosman, Doina and Haring, Christian and Hoven, Christina W and Kaess, Michael and Kahn, Jean-Pierre and Nemes, Bogdan and Postuvan, Vita and Saiz, Pilar A and Värnik, Peeter and Wasserman, Danuta (2016) Pathological internet use and risk-behaviors among European adolescents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13, (3), 294. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030294.

External website: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/3/294

Risk-behaviors are a major contributor to the leading causes of morbidity among adolescents and young people; however, their association with pathological Internet use (PIU) is relatively unexplored, particularly within the European context. The main objective of this study is to investigate the association between risk-behaviors and PIU in European adolescents. This cross-sectional study was conducted within the framework of the FP7 European Union project: Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE). Data on adolescents were collected from randomized schools within study sites across eleven European countries. PIU was measured using Young's Diagnostic Questionnaire (YDQ).

Risk-behaviors were assessed using questions procured from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS). A total of 11,931 adolescents were included in the analyses: 43.4% male and 56.6% female (M/F: 5179/6752), with a mean age of 14.89 ± 0.87 years. Adolescents reporting poor sleeping habits and risk-taking actions showed the strongest associations with PIU, followed by tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity. Among adolescents in the PIU group, 89.9% were characterized as having multiple risk-behaviors. The significant association observed between PIU and risk-behaviors, combined with a high rate of co-occurrence, underlines the importance of considering PIU when screening, treating or preventing high-risk behaviors among adolescents.

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