Rationale and objective of the study
The internet has become one of the most widely accessible media and is a significant part of everyday life, especially among adolescents. However, excessive use of the internet may instigate potential adverse psychosocial effects and there is a risk for developing internet addictive behavior. Internet addictive behavior is now considered a serious public health issue globally. There is, however, no consistent definition and there is a limited understanding of the psychopathology of internet addictive behavior. The objective of the EU NET ADB study is to assess the prevalence and the determinants of internet addictive behavior, and the factors which may lead to its development, among adolescents in Europe. The 7 European countries participating in this study are: Greece, Romania, Poland, Germany, Spain, Iceland and the Netherlands (project website: http://www.eunetadb.med.uoa.gr/) In the Netherlands, this study is performed by the IVO Addiction Research Institute.
The study consists of two parts; a quantitative part in which the prevalence and determinants of internet addictive behavior will be assessed, and a qualitative part in which the factors which may lead to the development of this behavior will be assessed. For the quantitative part of the study, 2000 adolescents aged 15 or 16 years will complete an anonymous questionnaire during one school hour. For the qualitative part, semi-structured interviews will be conducted with 20 adolescents aged 15 or 16 years with an excessive internet use. Analyses will be performed comparing all participating countries.
Safer Internet Programme of the European Commission
Lidy Veldhuis (researcher)
Laura van Duin (research assistent)
Gert-Jan Meerkerk (researcher)
Tim Schoenmakers (project leader)