The internet has become one of the most widely accessible media and is a significant part of everyday life in adolescence, offering opportunities for social networking and communication, education and entertainment. However, over the past decade a specific behavioral pattern has been researched in respect to Internet use, leading to isolation and neglect of everyday activities, social life –even personal health in general. The phenomenon has received increasing attention from the scientific community, describing it in various terms such as “excessive”, “problematic”, “pathological”, “addictive” use among others.
European research on Internet addictive behavior have been conducted in the past years giving various results, however tools that have been used are not validated, ages that have been studied vary a lot and cultural factors have not been taken under full consideration. The EU Kids Online project notes several key gaps in the evidence base of research on Internet safety issues for children and young people. Internet addictive behavior is one of the risks identified as little researched in Europe. According to the latest EU Kids Online report, further research on teenagers is needed as they continue to take the lead in the depth and breadth of Internet use. Specifically, additional indicators are needed by which to identify particularly “vulnerable” or “at risk” children.
Tsitsika, Artemis; Janikian, Mari; Greydanus, Donald E.; Omar, Hatim A.; and Merrick, Joav, "A New Millennium: A New Age of Behavioral Disorders?" (2013). Pediatrics Faculty Publications. 127.