Excessive and potentially addictive use of the Internet among children and adolescents has emerged as a major concern in recent times. Internet addiction is often conceptualized as an impulse control disorder, with features similar to pathological gambling. However, there remains considerable debate about the core components, etiological processes, course, and maintaining factors of the disorder. This article presents a case study of a 16-year-old male with generalized pathological Internet use. Critical issues relevant to case conceptualization, assessment, and choice of therapy are examined. Although the evidence base is limited in this emerging area of clinical psychology, we provide a summary of empirically supported cognitive-behavioral techniques for Internet addiction.
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.