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Open AccessArticle

Pathological Internet Use and Risk-Behaviors among European Adolescents

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm SE-17177, Sweden
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm SE-17177, Sweden
Department of Medicine and Health Science, University of Molise, Campobasso 86100, Italy
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
National Institute for Migration and Poverty, Via San Gallicano, Roma 25/A, Italy
Feinberg Child Study Centre, Schneider Children’s Medical Centre, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 49202, Israel
Vadaskert Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, Budapest 1021, Hungary
Institute of Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest 1064, Hungary
Department of Psychiatry, Center for Biomedical Research in the Mental Health Network (CIBERSAM), University of Oviedo, Oviedo 33006, Spain
Section for Disorders of Personality Development, Clinic of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Centre of Psychosocial Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg 69115, Germany
National Suicide Research Foundation, Western Rd., Cork, Ireland
Department of Clinical Psychology, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Str. Victor Babes Nr. 8, Cluj-Napoca 400000, Romania
Research Division for Mental Health, University for Medical Information Technology (UMIT), Klagenfurt, Innsbruck 6060, Austria
Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
Department of Psychiatry, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Nancy, Université de Lorraine, Nancy, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy 54500, France
Slovene Center for Suicide Research, Andrej Marušič Institute, University of Primorska, Koper 6000, Slovenia
Centre of Behavioral and Health Sciences, Estonian-Swedish Mental Health & Suicidology Institute, Tallinn University, Tallinn 10120, Estonia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 294;
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention among Youth)
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Risk-behaviors are a major contributor to the leading causes of morbidity among adolescents and young people; however, their association with pathological Internet use (PIU) is relatively unexplored, particularly within the European context. The main objective of this study is to investigate the association between risk-behaviors and PIU in European adolescents. This cross-sectional study was conducted within the framework of the FP7 European Union project: Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE). Data on adolescents were collected from randomized schools within study sites across eleven European countries. PIU was measured using Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire (YDQ). Risk-behaviors were assessed using questions procured from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS). A total of 11,931 adolescents were included in the analyses: 43.4% male and 56.6% female (M/F: 5179/6752), with a mean age of 14.89 ± 0.87 years. Adolescents reporting poor sleeping habits and risk-taking actions showed the strongest associations with PIU, followed by tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity. Among adolescents in the PIU group, 89.9% were characterized as having multiple risk-behaviors. The significant association observed between PIU and risk-behaviors, combined with a high rate of co-occurrence, underlines the importance of considering PIU when screening, treating or preventing high-risk behaviors among adolescents. View Full-Text
Keywords: pathological Internet use; Internet addiction; risk-behavior; multiple risk-behaviors; unhealthy lifestyles; adolescents; SEYLE pathological Internet use; Internet addiction; risk-behavior; multiple risk-behaviors; unhealthy lifestyles; adolescents; SEYLE

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Durkee, T.; Carli, V.; Floderus, B.; Wasserman, C.; Sarchiapone, M.; Apter, A.; Balazs, J.A.; Bobes, J.; Brunner, R.; Corcoran, P.; Cosman, D.; Haring, C.; Hoven, C.W.; Kaess, M.; Kahn, J.-P.; Nemes, B.; Postuvan, V.; Saiz, P.A.; Värnik, P.; Wasserman, D. Pathological Internet Use and Risk-Behaviors among European Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 294.

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