A study of prevalence of and its effect on depressive symptomatology and school performance
There has been an explosive growth on internet users worldwide. Excessive internet use can lead to internet addiction so this study was designed to find out prevalence of internet addiction in adolescent 12 to 18 year age group and to determine the association between internet addiction and depressive symptomatology and effect on school performance. This was a cross-sectional observational study performed in two schools of Bikaner City, India. About 2000 students of 12 to 18 years age group were screened for internet addiction by using young's internet addiction scale. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were assessed by using PHQ -9 and GAD-7 scale respectively. In the study 34.2 % subject were found to be internet addicts. Among 34.2 % net addicts 31.5 % subjects were found positive on PHQ - 9 ; depression and 18.7 % subjects were found positive on GAD - 7 scale ; anxiety. School performance was decreased in 59.6% of internet addicts . The addiction was found to be more common among male older adolescent 16 to 18 year age group with higher economic status families , long duration of internet use and with early years of internet contact. 12.2% net addicts were found doing pornography on internet. Majority were male adolescent of 14 to 18 year age group . To conclude internet addiction affects various facets of life ; like interpersonal relations, academic performance, social isolation, depression, anxiety , and sexual behaviour.