Excessive and addictive use of the Internet

Prevalence, Related Contents, Predictors, and Psychological Consequences

Authored by: Kai W. Müller , Michael Dreier , Klaus Wölfling

The Routledge Handbook of Media Use and Well-Being

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138886582
eBook ISBN: 9781315714752
Adobe ISBN: 9781317501954


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There are few modern phenomena in communication and media psychology causing such fierce controversies among professionals as the keywords “Internet Addiction.” First mentioned in a clinical case example by psychotherapist Kimberly Young (1998), the term soon spread around the globe, partly used as a humorous metaphor for the frantic modern days of worldwide connectedness (Goldberg, 1995), partly used to indicate an emerging new diagnosis of some clinical psychologists and psychiatrists (Shapira et al., 2003). In 2007 the American Medical Association published a position paper on the matter (CSAPH Report, 2007), suggesting that Internet Addiction may be an occurring health issue, yet at the same time emphasizing the still-lacking evidence for considering Internet Addiction as a new clinical entity.

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