Is spending too much time online a prevalent and damaging condition, or simply a bad habit among a select few? Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have taken an important step toward resolving the debate over whether compulsive use of the Internet merits a medical diagnosis.In a first-of-its-kind, telephone-based study, the researchers found that more than one out of eight Americans exhibited at least one possible sign of problematic Internet use.
The findings follow results from previous, less rigorous studies that found a significant number of the population could be suffering from some form of Internet addiction."Our telephone survey suggests that potential markers of problematic Internet use are present in a sizeable portion of the population," the researchers noted in their paper, which appears in the October issue of CNS Spectrums: The International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine.
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