New York: Adolescents who are addicted to the internet are more likely than non-addicted teens to engage in self-injurious behaviours like hitting themselves, pulling their own hair, or pinching or burning themselves, according to a new study.Researchers surveyed 1,618 adolescents between 13 and 18 years old from the Guangdong Province in Southeast China about their self-injurious behaviours and gave them a test designed to gauge internet addiction.While only about 10 percent of the students surveyed were moderately addicted to the internet, and less than 1 percent were severely addicted, those students were 2.4 times more likely to have self-injured one to five times in the past 6 months than students with normal internet habits, Dr. Lawrence T. Lam from University of Notre Dame, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues found.
"To assess whether a young person is using the internet excessively," Lam noted, "we still have to look into other signs and symptoms. For example, if someone feels an urge to get online to check the email or visit any sites, knowing that he or she has just checked the mail two minutes ago, then I would say that exhibits an addictive symptom."While acknowledging that self-injurious behaviour is linked to borderline personality disorder, Lam and colleagues seem to favour the idea that internet addiction and self-injury are both manifestations of impulse control disorders.Bureau Report
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