Colleges Have a New Addiction to Fight: Problematic Internet Use

Colleges Have a New Addiction to Fight: Problematic Internet Use

DIGITAL DETOX: Internet addiction is a serious condition on par with substance abuse disorders, and colleges and universities are starting to contemplate its effects on campus. A new study from UNC Chapel Hill and Georgia State examines how Problematic Internet Use (PIU) affects family relationships among U.S. university undergraduate and graduate students.

Researchers followed students who spend more than 25 hours a week on the Internet (time that’s not related to school or work). They found that the Web helped students connect to their families, but it was also a source of conflict. Though the researchers studied a small sample of 27 students, their findings are a first step toward designing effective interventions for college students affected by Internet addiction. “[Students] who suffer adverse consequences from PIU may have difficulty addressing their PIU because of requirements to use Internet for classes via online assignments (e.g., writing blogs), online courses and materials accessed online,” lead researcher Susan M. Snyder writes in The Conversation.

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