Depression and internet addiction in adolescents

Jee Hyun Ha, Su Yeon Kim, Soojeong C. Bae, Sujin Bae, Hyungjun Kim, Minyoung Sim, In Kyoon Lyoo, Soo Churl Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

313 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between depression and Internet addiction among adolescents. Sampling and Method: A total of 452 Korean adolescents were studied. First, they were evaluated for their severity of Internet addiction with consideration of their behavioral characteristics and their primary purpose for computer use. Second, we investigated correlations between Internet addiction and depression, alcohol dependence and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Third, the relationship between Internet addiction and biogenetic temperament as assessed by the Temperament and Character Inventory was evaluated. Results: Internet addiction was significantly associated with depressive symptoms and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Regarding biogenetic temperament and character patterns, high harm avoidance, low self-directedness, low cooperativeness and high self-transcendence were correlated with Internet addiction. In multivariate analysis, among clinical symptoms depression was most closely related to Internet addiction, even after controlling for differences in biogenetic temperament. Conclusions: This study reveals a significant association between Internet addiction and depressive symptoms in adolescents. This association is supported by temperament profiles of the Internet addiction group. The data suggest the necessity of the evaluation of the potential underlying depression in the treatment of Internet-addicted adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-430
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Depression, adolescent
  • Internet addiction
  • Temperament and Character Inventory


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