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Addictive Internet Use Tied to Depression in Teens
Date:8/2/2010

"Parents are indicating to us that a lot of their children's friendship circles are contracting by reason of the fact they are spending too much time on the Internet," he said. "This ties in generally with the notion that Internet behavior is becoming disruptive in the family."

Spending too much time on the Internet is a so-called "process addiction," like gambling and pornography, Gilbert said.

"We are going to see more of these problems, and [they] are especially acute in adolescence when kids are struggling with defining their social circumstances," he said.

The key for parents is to monitor their children's media time and content, Gilbert said.

"The technology changes, the medium changes, but the issue always comes down to parents ascertaining control over their children's behavior and monitoring it," he said.

More information

For more information on teenage depression, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Lawrence T. Lam, Ph.D., School of Medicine, Sydney, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia; Michael Gilbert, senior fellow, Center for the Digital Future, University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication, Los Angeles; Aug. 2, 2010, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, online


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