Home » News » ‘Internet Addiction’ on the Decline in College Students

‘Internet Addiction’ on the Decline in College Students

Internet Addiction on the Decline in College StudentsA new pilot study investigates the risk of “Internet addiction” among adolescents and young adults — a population segment that has been shown to be at high risk for behavioral addictions. “Internet addiction” is not a recognized diagnosis or mental disorder, but has been studied extensively because so many people spend so much time online.

Lead researcher Dimitri A. Christakis, M.D., had 224 eligible college students at two U.S. universities complete a survey that included the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) as well as the Patient Health Questionnaire. The Internet Addiction Test is not considered a well-validated psychological instrument.

Four percent of the students surveyed scored in the occasional problem or addicted range on the IAT. This is lower than previous studies reported — which have suggested “Internet addiction” affects between 6 and 10 percent of the population — suggesting that “Internet addiction” may be on the decline.

Researchers also discovered a link between problematic Internet usage and its association with moderate to severe depression.

According to Christakis, this is a cause for concern that potentially requires intervention and treatment amongst the most vulnerable groups.

While the percentage is lower than what has been reported in similar studies, the researchers said that their study demonstrates that problematic Internet usage is more common than asthma on U.S. college campuses, and suggests that colleges should consider preventative approaches.

“Pediatricians and parents continue to report overuse of the Internet in their patients and children, respectively,” said Christakis.

“Given the Internet is woven into the fabric of the lives of this generation of children, concerns about the potential for addiction are warranted and today’s college students are clearly at risk, given the considerable exposure that they have to the Internet.”

The study, titled “Problematic Internet Usage in U.S. College Students: A Pilot Study,” was recently published online in BMC Medicine.

Source: Seattle Children’s Research Institute

‘Internet Addiction’ on the Decline in College Students

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). ‘Internet Addiction’ on the Decline in College Students. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.