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Internet Addiction Linked to Strict / Unaffectionate Parenting

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Strick parenting leads to Internet Addiction?

By Dr. Brent Conrad, Clinical Psychologist at TechAddiction.ca

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

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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

www.techaddiction.ca

 

 

 

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

www.techaddiction.ca

 

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

www.techaddiction.ca

 

New Sesame Workshop study on the positive effects of video games

As promised, it is not all doom (the adverse fate, not the game) and gloom (the state of melancholy, not the Pokemon) here at the TechAddiction Blog.

A new report by the Sesame Workshop has outlined some of the positive effects of playing video games.

Support from an unexpected source

Support from an unexpected source

If games are played in moderation, are age appropriate, and avoid violent content, some of the potential benefits include:

– Exposure to new vocabulary words, history, and science concepts

– Improved math and complex problem solving skills

– Improved “Systems Thinking” (how changing one element affects larger relationships)

– Improved physical health (for “active” and fitness games)

For more details, check out the full report.

www.techaddiction.ca

Percentage of female gamers increases in 2009

According a NPD survey of 20,000 individuals, the percentage of females who play videogames increased from 23% in 2008 to 28% in 2009.

Not just for XY anymore

Not just for XY anymore

Other findings:

– Female gamers in the “extreme” category (more than 39 hours per week) increased by 4%

– 39% of total gaming time is spent with online games

 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

 

Three Million US Children are “Pathological Gamers”

A national study at Iowa State University has concluded that 8.5% of American youths (8 – 18 years old) who play videogames “show multiple signs of behavioral addiction.”

kid gamers 

“It’s not that the games are bad.It’s that some kids use them in a way that is out of balance and harms various other areas of their lives.”

As is common in this field, the researchers adapted the diagnostic criteria for gambling addiction to define who is and who isn’t addicted. Gamers were considered “pathological” if they reported 6 of the 11 symptoms.

Findings:

  • Compared to girls, four times as many boys were considered addicted
  • Children considered pathological gamers did worse in school
  • Those considered addicted were twice as likely to have attention deficit disorder
  • 88% of kids play videogames

Original article

68 Percent Of US Households Play Games

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) recently released the annual “Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry” report.

A few findings:

  • 68 % of American households play videogames
  • 42% of homes have a gaming console
  • The average age of players is 35
  • Females make up 43% of online gamers 
Come on...does anyone *really* play the Wii like this?

Come on...does anyone *really* play the Wii like this?

 “This is the new golden age of entertainment software. Our  products are now being enjoyed by over two-thirds of Americans”

Also,  according to the study, parents are present 92% of the time when games are rented or purchased. If accurate, this is encouraging. Of course, being “present” does not necessarily mean that parents are informed about the content of the purchase…

Original article

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