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They resort to virtual relationships and support to alleviate their loneliness.

which consists of 20 items with each on a 5-point Likert scale. Young's 1998 book Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction and A Winning Strategy for Recovery and Drs.

Questions included on the IAT expand upon Young's earlier 8-question assessment in greater detail and include questions such as "Do you become defensive or secretive when anyone asks you what you do online? Laura Widyanto and Mary Mc Murran's 2004 article titled The Psychometric Properties of the Internet Addiction Test. Northrup and colleagues (2015) claim that Internet per se is simply the medium and that the people are in effect addicted to processes facilitated by the Internet.

Most recent research has focused on the biological causes of Internet addiction.

For a systematic review of the kind, please refer to the 2017 Springer book edited by Christian Montag and Martin Reuter: Internet Addiction: Neuroscientific Approaches and Therapeutical Implications Including Smartphone Addiction (3nd edition).

Parental educational level, age at first use of the Internet, and the frequency of using social networking sites and gaming sites are found to be positively associated with excessive Internet use among adolescents in some European countries, as well as in the USA.

Mental health consequences A longitudinal study of Chinese high school students (2010) suggests that individuals with moderate to severe risk of Internet addiction are 2.5 times more likely to develop depressive symptoms than their IA-free counterparts.

As a consequence of studies being conducted in divergent contexts, studies constantly modify scales for their own purposes, thereby imposing a further challenge to the standardization in assessing Internet addiction disorder.

The latter of which is critical to whether IAD should be defined as a mental disorder.

Brain function consequences Using an age- and gender-matched Chinese adolescent sample, Yan Zhou and associates (2009) demonstrate that IA adolescents have a lower brain gray matter density (GMD) in the "left anterior cingulate cortex, left posterior cingulate cortex, left insula, and left lingual gyrus" than adolescents in the control group, indicating the presence of brain structural changes in Internet addicts.

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