A study published in the journal Child Development shows that loneliness among the adolescent population is in fact a risk factor for compulsive internet use. The risk for compulsive use is particularly high during the ongoing pandemic.
"In the coronavirus period, loneliness has increased markedly among adolescents. They look for a sense of belonging from the internet. Lonely adolescents head to the internet and are at risk of becoming addicted. Internet addiction can further aggravate their malaise, such as depression," says Professor of Education and study lead Katariina Salmela-Aro from the University of Helsinki.
The study clarifies compulsive use that includes gaming addiction or the ongoing monitoring of social media.
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"It's comforting to know that problematic internet use is adaptive and often changes in late adolescence and during the transition to adulthood. Consequently, attention should be paid to the matter both in school and at home. Addressing loneliness too serves as a significant channel for preventing excessive internet use," Salmela-Aro notes.
Source: Science Daily