Prevalence of Internet Addiction among Higher Secondary Level Students in Kathmandu District
Internet addiction is defined as an impulse control disorder, which is very similar to pathological gambling. It is typically characterized by psychomotor agitation, anxiety, craving depression, hostility, substance experience, preoccupation, loss of control, impairment of function, reduced decision-making ability, and constant online surfing despite negative effects on social and psychological welfare. An institutional based cross-sectional study with a sample comprising of 422 college students (15 – 19 age group) across Kathmandu District was conducted from November 9th – 23rd, 2014. Students were assessed with a structured questionnaire and Internet Addiction Test (IAT) scale, which was anonymously selfadministered. The collected data was analyzed with the help of SPSS version 20 and interpreted. This survey depicts internet penetration rate was 97.3%. The possible addicts/internet addict students were found to spent average of 34 hours per week, compared to the 11 hours of average users. Male students were more possible addicts/internet addicts than female students. This survey found statistically significant difference between average users and possible addicts/internet addicts based on their Family Characteristics which consisted of variables such as economic status (p = 0.001), within family relationship (p = 0.009), ownership of computer/laptop at home (p < 0.001) and loneliness level at home (p < 0.001). Based on the interpersonal relationship at college, there was no significant difference between average users and possible/ internet addicts except for the relationship with classmates (p = 0.024). Overall, the prevalence of internet addiction among higher secondary level students according to this survey was found to be 2.57. As a result of IAT scale, the prevalence of internet addiction among higher secondary level students of Kathmandu District according to this survey was found to be 2.57.
Key words: Adolescent, Internet addiction, Internet Addiction Test, Internet Penetration Rate, Nepal, Prevalence