Objective: Internet use has grown considerably in recent years throughout the world, particularly among young people. This study aimed at assessing Internet use among high school students.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional epidemiological study involving 246 students in 7 classes representing first, second, and third year students (754 persons) at a high school in Ankara, Turkey during March 2001. An Internet use questionnaire comprising 34 questions was used.
Results: It was found that 86.5% of the students used the Internet at home. The mean daily Internet use was 2.5 hours during vacation, and less while school was in session. Although 86.5% of students with computers at home had Internet connections, approximately half of the students reported that they had frequently gone to Internet cafe's.
Conclusion: Significant differences between boys and girls were found in terms of hours spent on the Internet and purpose of use, and changes over time in hours spent. "Daily" and "weekly" Internet use is more frequent among boys than girls. Boys visit cyber-sex sites more than girls. Those whose weekly Internet use was 4 hours or more were found to have been using the Internet for 36 months or more; they had irregular eating habits, and their relatives complained more frequently on the amount of time they spent on the Internet.