The Earlier The Better? Tao-Yaun county junior high school students' first use of the internet and internet addiction

Yao-Chung (Lennon) Chang, Ou Chia-Chiao

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    In 2007 and 2008, Hou and Jou collected data on Internet usage by 2,864 Tao-Yuan County (Taiwan) junior high school students. This paper reanalyses their data and finds that the earlier that students first use the Internet, the greater the possibility that they will become Internet addicted. Even when the variables that might be highly correlated with Internet addiction- such as sex, academic scores, family social economic statues, influence of peers- are controlled, the variable of `age of first use'of the Internet remains highly correlated with Internet addiction. Nonetheless, the data also show that if a student's first use of the Internet occurs after grade 5 on average, there will be negative consequences for the student. That is, whether first use of the Internet was at a young age or later in adolescence there were negative consequences in the sample of students analysed. This paper suggests that parents should not force their children to use the Internet at a young age out of a fear that their children might fall behind other students. On the other hand, it is also not good to postpone deliberately a child's first use of the Internet. The right time for a child to use the Internet is after he/she has learnt about the Internet at school, that is, in a formal educational environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-78
    JournalCrime and Criminal Justice International
    Volume14
    Issue numberMarch
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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