Blog Archives

Internet Addiction Linked to Strict / Unaffectionate Parenting


Strick parenting leads to Internet Addiction?

By Dr. Brent Conrad, Clinical Psychologist at

A new study has found that young adults who remember their parents as being overly stick, demanding, and without being affectionate, tended to be more likely to have problematic Internet use (often referred to as Internet Addiction). 

As this is obviously a correlational finding (and we all know that correlation does not imply causation), the authors suggest that other factors may be at play.

For example, kids with very demanding parents who lack affection may experience mood problems, may have difficulty relating to peers in person, or may struggle to making friends in general…which may cause them to retreat to online games for comfort and support.

The study of 600 adults concluded that almost 2% of men and 0.6% of women could be classified as “severely addicted”.

The take home message is pretty simple isn’t it? Be an authoritative, not an authoritarian parent. Set reasonable expectations for your children, but don’t expect perfection and 100% obedience all the time. And always show that you care for them and love them.

Doing so may protect not only against Internet Addiction, but will likely prevent many (many) other problems as well.

Original Article: Parenting Style and Internet Addiction

Is Internet addiction really “just like coming off ecstasy”?

Study finds that heavy users of the Internet are more likely to be depressed and suggests that they may experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those of drug users.

internet addiction depression

Internet addiction just like drug addiction?

A recent study in the international journal PLOS ONE, has found that excessive users of the Internet are more likely to experience mood difficulties such as depression than those with more moderate habits.

The study also concluded that heavy users of the Internet may suffer from mood-related withdrawal symptoms when access to the Internet is removed.

How about an attention-grabbing quote from the researchers?

When these people come off-line, they suffer from increased negative mood – just like people coming off illegal drugs lke ecstasy.”

Here’s the thing – excessive use of the Internet is a real problem for some people, and it doesn’t matter if we call it an “addiction”, “excessive use”, or “unhealthy habits”. It can certainly cause problems at school, work, and in relationships. I’ve seen it and I work with it every day.

By the way, deterioration in mood was tested like this:

1. Baseline mood questionnaire

2. Use the Internet in a lab setting for 15 minutes

3. 2nd mood questionnaire

External validity questions aside, I don’t see a lot of value in trying to equate video game and Internet addiction with drug addiction. In my opinion this trivializes the very serious problem of drug and alcohol addiction and does nothing to “legitimize” the problem of unhealthy online habits.

Comparing online habits to ecstasy is not very helpful – it just seems like an unnecessary attempt to give weight to the very real problem (for some) of Internet addiction.

Internet addiction (or video game addiction) is comparable to drug addiction: Agree or disagree?

Original journal article

Facebook Use Associated With Teen Drinking, Smoking, And Drug Use

 Teens who spend time on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other social networking sites may be more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and use drugs.

Teen Facebook users are three times more likely to drink alcohol

That’s according to Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA). CASA recently polled more than 2,000 teens online or by phone, as well as 528 parents of teens.

The results show that compared to teens who don’t visit social networking sites daily, those who do are:
– Five times more likely to use tobacco
– Three times more likely to drink alcohol
– Twice as likely to use marijuana

Most teens — 70% — said they spend anywhere from one minute to hours a day on social networking sites.

But it’s not the fact that teens visit social network sites that makes them more likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs. Instead, the issue seems to be what they view on those sites. Forty percent of the teens in CASA’s survey said they have seen images of intoxicated kids, including some who are passed out, as well as pictures of peers using drugs. 

The CASA report does not prove that social networking caused teens to abuse alcohol or other drugs. Surveys like this show associations but cannot prove cause and effect.

Do Parents Understand?

Parents may not see the risk. CASA’s report shows that about nine out of 10 parents don’t think that social networking raises their teens’ risk for drug or alcohol abuse.

But they may not know what’s on those sites. The survey showed that 64% of parents whose teen has a presence on a social network said they don’t monitor what goes on there.

“Parents need to monitor their kids with respect to social networking and the TV shows they watch, and know what their kids’ lives are like,” says CASA President Joseph Califano Jr.

Social networking sites pose some unique challenges for parents. These sites expand cliques and peer groups almost exponentially. As a result, parents should know what their kids are doing, what their friends are doing, and even what their friends’ friends are doings, Califano says.

Reality TV, Cyberbullying Also an Issue

It is not just what they see on the Internet that influences these decisions. Teens who watch “suggestive teen programming” such as reality TV shows like Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, and teen dramas such as Skins or Gossip Girl are also more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana, CASA’s survey shows.

“It is a phenomenal assault on public health that we subject teens to pictures of drugs, alcohol, or teens being drunk or passed out on the Internet, in films, and on TV shows that are suggestive and glorify drinking and drugging,” Califano says.

Cyberbullying also plays a role. In CASA’s survey, teens who reported that someone had posted nasty or embarrassing things about them online are at greater risk for substance abuse. One in five teens aged 12 to 17 have been cyberbullied, the survey showed.

Teens have always been subject to peer pressure, and virtual peer pressure via social networking sites is no exception, says Andres Huberman, MD, the medical director of Project Outreach in West Hempstead, N.Y., which is part of Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y.

“They see these images and there are no moral or educational statements accompanying them, so teens may be left with the impression that this is what the real world is about and that everybody is doing it, so it is OK,” Huberman says.

Parents should keep an eye on what is happening, but social networks can make it difficult to do so, says Huberman, who is a parent of teens. Parents need to find a way to “meet” their teen’s virtual friends in the same way that they would their actual friends, he says.

Canadians spend 18 hours per week online, 17 hours watching TV

For the very first time, Canadians are spending more time online than watching TV.

Please remember me when I'm gone!

 “Some industry watchers have noted the cost of watching TV is rising as cable TV companies and satellite operators raise the monthly cost of service. As that happens more people are watching TV online for free.”

“For the younger generations, the computer is much more important than the television and they generally spend more time online than those over 55”

Original article




Austrialian addiction expert calls for video game rehab centre

Sydney University psychiatry professor Vladan Starcevic has urged Austrilia to consider a gaming rebhab centre similar to the one recently opened in London.

According to his own research with a sample of 2000 individuals, one in ten gamers showed signs of addiction.

full metal jacket

This is my console. There are many like it but this one is mine.


“We have people in this country who do have a problem with that just like with gambling and other addictive behaviours,”

All well and good, but I’m not crazy about the untested methodology used by many of the recently opened inpatient facilities. Also, I am very much against the tens of thousands of dollars charged by the centres for treatment – it just seems blatantly exploitative.

Original article


Females make up almost half of console gamers

A new survey by NPD has found that almost half (44%) of current generation console gamers are female.

"Um, what's NPD?"

"Um, what's NPD?"

Although the number of adult female gamers is growing, the largest proportion is still in the 2 – 12-year-old range.

Original article


President of the Entertainment Software Association has Doubts about Game Addiction Study

Following up on the previous post regarding videogame addiction in children, Michael Gallagher, the president of Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has challenged the conclusions of the researchers and suggests that the study used “flawed methodology.”

Mike Gallagher - President of the ESA

Mike Gallagher - President of the ESA

 “Gallagher goes on to point out that Gentile conceded in an interview that he was unaware that the sample group for the study was not randomly chosen, but instead comprised of a ‘convenience’ sample of individuals who agreed to participate in the survey.”

This is often a problem you run into when conducting research – true random selection is quite elusive and samples of convenience are certainly not as desirable.

The question is, on a survey asking about videogame habits, who is most likely to respond – those who are light or moderate players, or those who play excessively?

Obviously, your sample selection influences your results – and I suspect that such a study may over-sample somewhat on the hard-core gamer side.

Original article


%d bloggers like this: