What Makes Teenagers' Addiction to the Internet Serious: On a Survey of the Problematic Internet Use of Schoolchildren in Japan

Monday, 11 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Kenichi ITO, Gunma University, Japan
In Japan, the problem of the Internet use of young people was regarded as either cyber-crimes --- such as enticement, deception or false billing --- or as cyber-bulling among schoolchildren. However, in 2012, Japanese people began to focus on another problem: the Problematic Internet Use (PIU) or Internet Addiction. A study team of the Japanese Government (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) executed a massive survey in 2012 and reported next year that about 8.1% of high school students, which amounted to 518,000 teens, were estimated to belong to the high-risk group. After this announcement, the topic of the Internet addiction became rather common on several mass media. But we have only few studies on this problem and not only parents but researchers don’t know what to do to decrease the risk of PIU. There are only few hospitals where “patients” or their parents can consult psychiatrists.

This paper attempts to investigate the risk factors of the PIU of schoolchildren. We carried out a survey in September 2015 on junior high-school children in Maebashi City, Gunma prefecture to probe relationships between students’ PIU and several factors such as their values, attitudes, or behaviors. Through this analysis, we want to find out some clues to remove the risk before it becomes serious.