What keeps female problematic Internet users busy online?

TitreWhat keeps female problematic Internet users busy online?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsPiguet, C, Berchtold, A, Akré, C, Surís, J-C
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Date Published08/2015
ISSN1432-1076 (Electronic)
Mots-clésAdolescent, Adolescent Behavior, Behavior, Addictive, Cross-Sectional Studies, Emotions, Female, Humans, Internet, Logistic Models, Motor Activity, Odds Ratio, Substance-Related Disorders, Surveys and Questionnaires, Switzerland

UNLABELLED: While problematic Internet use is recognized to be predominant among male adolescents, a female trend is gradually becoming apparent. Our study aimed at investigating the characteristics of female Internet users and distinguishing between the online activities of problematic and regular Internet users' on school days. Data were retrieved from a cross-sectional survey of a representative sample of 3067 8th graders in the canton of Vaud, Switzerland, that completed an online questionnaire in 2012. Only females were included. Based on the Internet addiction test, the sample was divided into regular (RUs) (IAT < 50, n = 1339) and problematic users (PIUs) (IAT ≥ 50, n = 201). Groups were compared regarding sociodemographic variables, online activities, devices used to access the Internet, substance use, and physical activity. Significant variables were included in a backward logistic regression. At the multivariate level, PIUs were more prone to spend time online for leisure activities (odds ratio [OR] 2.38) and to access the Internet through a smartphone (OR 1.79) or tablet (OR 1.84). PIUs were less likely to be physically active (OR 0.86) and more likely to present poor emotional well-being (OR 2.67) and to smoke (OR 1.88).

CONCLUSION: A sizeable percentage of female adolescents are problematic Internet users. When performing a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment, teenagers owning numerous devices to access the Internet, presenting other health-compromising behaviors or poor emotional well-being should be specifically targeted.

Alternate URL


First publication date (online)




Alternate JournalEur. J. Pediatr.
Citation Key / SERVAL ID6303
Peer reviewRefereed
PubMed ID25743116


IUMSP | www.iumsp.ch
Institut universitaire de médecine sociale et préventive
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 | dess.info@unisante.ch

Go to top