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Etiological Factors Related to Problematic Internet Use


Affiliations
1 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India
2 Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India
     

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Internet has become part of our lives and there has been a manifold increase in internet users over the years in India and globally. It has made our life easy and comfortable through providing better opportunities for communication, information and social interaction. However, excessive usage of the internet has led to many negative consequences on human life. Despite excessive internet use has led to the emergence of the concept of internet addiction, the conceptual clarity is still missing to understand the underlying mechanism. Due to this lack of the conceptual clarity, there has not been a formal consensus on diagnostic criteria for Internet Addiction which has hindered the development of proper assessment tools and epidemiological research on the topic and the concept of Internet addiction as a distinct psychiatric disorder is still in its infancy. But most of the studies conducted previously in the field of internet addiction looked into the risk factors for developing or associated with internet addiction rather than conceptualizing the underlying phenomenon of problematic internet use and testing out the same with further research. This leaves the question about calling the internet addiction as a separate disorder or considering it as a comorbid condition for other psychiatric condition unanswered. So the focus of the current review is to understand the conceptual issues pertaining to problematic internet use through the available literature and to draw the attention of readers on the existing theories explaining the etiology of the problematic internet use and to provide future direction for research in this important and yet controversial area.

Keywords

Problematic Internet Use, Psychiatric Disorder, Youth.
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  • Etiological Factors Related to Problematic Internet Use

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Authors

K. Prasad
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India
Ameer Hamza
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India
Basavaraj Shrinivasa
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India
Manoj Kumar Sharma
Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India
Sadananda Reddy
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, India

Abstract


Internet has become part of our lives and there has been a manifold increase in internet users over the years in India and globally. It has made our life easy and comfortable through providing better opportunities for communication, information and social interaction. However, excessive usage of the internet has led to many negative consequences on human life. Despite excessive internet use has led to the emergence of the concept of internet addiction, the conceptual clarity is still missing to understand the underlying mechanism. Due to this lack of the conceptual clarity, there has not been a formal consensus on diagnostic criteria for Internet Addiction which has hindered the development of proper assessment tools and epidemiological research on the topic and the concept of Internet addiction as a distinct psychiatric disorder is still in its infancy. But most of the studies conducted previously in the field of internet addiction looked into the risk factors for developing or associated with internet addiction rather than conceptualizing the underlying phenomenon of problematic internet use and testing out the same with further research. This leaves the question about calling the internet addiction as a separate disorder or considering it as a comorbid condition for other psychiatric condition unanswered. So the focus of the current review is to understand the conceptual issues pertaining to problematic internet use through the available literature and to draw the attention of readers on the existing theories explaining the etiology of the problematic internet use and to provide future direction for research in this important and yet controversial area.

Keywords


Problematic Internet Use, Psychiatric Disorder, Youth.