The present study investigated the prevalence and demographic correlates of Internet addiction in Hong Kong adolescents as well as the change in related behavior at two time points over a one-year interval. Two waves of data were collected from a large sample of students (Wave 1: 3,328 students, age = 12.59 ± 0.74 years; Wave 2: 3,580 students, age = 13.50 ± 0.75 years) at 28 secondary schools in Hong Kong. Comparable to findings at Wave 1 (26.4%), 26.7% of the participants met the criterion of Internet addiction at Wave 2 as measured by Young's 10-item Internet Addiction Test. The behavioral pattern of Internet addiction was basically stable over time. While the predictive effects of demographic variables including age, gender, family economic status, and immigration status were not significant, Internet addictive behaviors at Wave 1 significantly predicted similar behaviors at Wave 2. Students who met the criterion of Internet addiction at Wave 1 were 7.55 times more likely than other students to be classified as Internet addicts at Wave 2. These results suggest that early detection and intervention for Internet addiction should be carried out.
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The preparation for this paper and the Project P.A.T.H.S. were financially supported by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
Shek, Daniel T. L. and Yu, Lu, "Internet Addiction Phenomenon in Early Adolescents in Hong Kong" (2012). Pediatrics Faculty Publications. 18.