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1.  Problematic internet usage in US college students: a pilot study 
BMC Medicine  2011;9:77.
Internet addiction among US college students remains a concern, but robust estimates of its prevalence are lacking.
We conducted a pilot survey of 307 college students at two US universities. Participants completed the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) as well as the Patient Health Questionnaire. Both are validated measures of problematic Internet usage and depression, respectively. We assessed the association between problematic Internet usage and moderate to severe depression using a modified Poisson regression approach. In addition, we examined the associations between individual items in the IAT and depression.
A total of 224 eligible respondents completed the survey (73% response rate). Overall, 4% of students scored in the occasionally problematic or addicted range on the IAT, and 12% had moderate to severe depression. Endorsement of individual problematic usage items ranged from 1% to 70%. In the regression analysis, depressive symptoms were significantly associated with several individual items. Relative risk could not be estimated for three of the twenty items because of small cell sizes. Of the remaining 17 items, depressive symptoms were significantly associated with 13 of them, and three others had P values less than 0.10. There was also a significant association between problematic Internet usage overall and moderate to severe depression (relative risk 24.07, 95% confidence interval 3.95 to 146.69; P = 0.001).
The prevalence of problematic Internet usage among US college students is a cause for concern, and potentially requires intervention and treatment amongst the most vulnerable groups. The prevalence reported in this study is lower than that which has been reported in other studies, however the at-risk population is very high and preventative measures are also recommended.
PMCID: PMC3141542  PMID: 21696582
2.  Internet addiction: a 21st century epidemic? 
BMC Medicine  2010;8:61.
Internet addiction, while not yet officially codified within a psychopathological framework, is growing both in prevalence and within the public consciousness as a potentially problematic condition with many parallels to existing recognized disorders. The rapid and unfettered increase in the number of people accessing a relatively unrestricted internet substantially increases the possibility that those suffering with an underlying psychological comorbidity may be at serious risk of developing an addiction to the internet, lending further credence to this hitherto understudied condition. In this commentary, I outline my recommendations for improved diagnosis, study and prevention of internet addiction.
PMCID: PMC2972229  PMID: 20955578

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