Assessment and Treatment of Problem Internet Use

Kimberly Young

in The Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders

Published in print August 2011 |
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

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Research over the last decade has identified Internet addiction as a new and often unrecognized clinical disorder that impacts a user’s ability to control online use to the extent that it can cause relational, occupational, and social problems. Symptoms of problem Internet use are compared to the criteria used to diagnose other addictions. In particular, pathological gambling is compared to problematic Internet use because of overlapping criteria. As new cases of problem Internet use are being documented, this chapter describes the diagnostic and treatment implications of the disorder. As computers are used with great frequency, detection and diagnosis of Internet addiction are often difficult. Symptoms of a possible problem may be masked by legitimate use of the Internet, and clinicians may not ask questions about computer use because problem Internet use is still a new and often unrecognized condition. This chapter outlines diagnostic conceptualizations of problem Internet use including the DSM-V proposed criteria for Pathological Computer Use, assessment techniques, and treatment considerations.

Keywords: Internet addiction; problem Internet use; pathological computer use; assessment; diagnosis; treatment

Article.  6569 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing

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