Home > Internet addiction: a review of the first twenty years.

Mihajlov, Martin and Vejmelka, Lucija (2017) Internet addiction: a review of the first twenty years. Psychiatria Danubina, 29, (3), pp. 260-272.

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Easy access to communication and information technologies has increased our dependence on technology for various aspects of our lives. Nevertheless, this remarkable growth of Internet Usage has been inextricably paired with a rise of excessive and dysfunctional Internet use. Conceptualized around 1996, a few years after the inception of the World Wide Web, Internet addiction has developed into a global issue influencing varying segments of the population at different levels. Despite heated debates on its addictive nature, consensus is emerging regarding the existence of this problematic behavior. In this paper we provide a comprehensive overview of the literature on Internet addiction in last 20 years.

Purpose of this paper is to present crucial findings on Internet addiction to health profession. Besides numerous benefits of Internet use, the virtual environment brings various risks in every age group. The Internet is very significant in the everyday activities of children and youth and professional interventions with this age group should be specific considering their developmental characteristics. Exposure to online risks can have long-lasting and intense negative effects. Effective programs in prevention and treatment should include a multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary approach. Detail review of the symptomatology, diagnosis model an possibilities of treatment can be multiple beneficial to the health professionals and other helping professions due to actual needs for interventions in the field of the internet addiction treatment. Internet addiction is slowly becoming a societal concern as it particularly affects adolescents and children, who are more exposed and consequently more vulnerable. Findings presented in the paper can benefit in practice of treatment internet addiction and also as framework for further researches in the field.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Review, Article
Drug Type
Behavioural addiction
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
September 2017
Page Range
pp. 260-272
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