Internet Use and Video Gaming Predict Problem Behavior in Early Adolescence

J Adolesc. 2011 Feb;34(1):49-58. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Abstract

In early adolescence, the time spent using the Internet and video games is higher than in any other present-day age group. Due to age-inappropriate web and gaming content, the impact of new media use on teenagers is a matter of public and scientific concern. Based on current theories on inappropriate media use, a study was conducted that comprised 205 adolescents aged 10-14 years (Md = 13). Individuals were identified who showed clinically relevant problem behavior according to the problem scales of the Youth Self Report (YSR). Online gaming, communicational Internet use, and playing first-person shooters were predictive of externalizing behavior problems (aggression, delinquency). Playing online role-playing games was predictive of internalizing problem behavior (including withdrawal and anxiety). Parent-child communication about Internet activities was negatively related to problem behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Video Games / adverse effects
  • Video Games / psychology*