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RESEARCH PAPER
 
CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
 
 

Prevalence of Internet addiction and risk of developing addiction as exemplified by a group of Polish adolescents from urban and rural areas

Beata Pawłowska 1  ,  
Maciej Zygo 2,  
Piotr Dreher 5,  
 
1
2 nd Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Medical University of Lublin, Poland
2
Prof. Mieczysław Kaczyński Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Lublin Independent Public Healthcare Establishment, Poland
3
Department of Molecular Biology and Translational Research, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
4
Department of Medical Biology and Translational Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Information Technology and Management, Rzeszow, Poland
5
Public Health Chair and Department, Medical University in Lublin, Poland
6
Military University Hospital no 1 in Lublin with the Outpatient Department Independent Public Healthcare Establishment, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(1):129–136
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Objective:
The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of Internet addiction and the risk of developing this addiction in Polish adolescents attending junior high schools and high school in Lublin Province, to indicate the differences regarding the intensity of Internet addiction symptoms, and the types of online activity of adolescents residing in urban and rural areas.

Material and Methods:
The examined group comprised 1,860 participants (1,320 girls and 540 boys) with an average age of 17 years. 760 students lived in urban areas and 1,100 lived in rural areas. The following were used in the study: the Socio-demographic Questionnaire designed by the authors, the Internet Addiction Questionnaire designed by Potembska, the Internet Addiction Test by Young and the Internet Addiction Questionnaire (Kwestionariusz do Badania Uzależnienia od Internetu – KBUI) designed by Pawłowska and Potembska.

Results:
The adolescents living in urban areas showed a significantly greater intensity of Internet and computer addiction symptoms measured by the KBUI Questionnaire, compared to those living in rural areas.

Conclusions:
The Internet addiction criteria were fulfilled by 0.45% of adolescents living in urban areas and 2.9% of those living in rural areas, whereas 35.55% of urban dwelling students and 30.18% of students living in rural areas showed a risk of developing this addiction. More adolescents living in urban areas, compared to those living in rural areas, use Internet pornography, play computer games, disclose their personal data to unknown individuals encountered on the Internet, use Instant Messaging (IM) services, electronic mail and Facebook social networking service. Compared to their peers from urban areas, significantly more adolescents from rural areas use ‘Nasza Klasa’ (Our Classmates) online social networking service.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Beata Pawłowska   
2 nd Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Medical University of Lublin, Poland
 
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