Pathological internet use and risk-behaviors among european adolescents

Tony Durkee*, Vladimir Carli, Birgitta Floderus, Camilla Wasserman, Marco Sarchiapone, Alan Apter, Judit A. Balazs, Julio Bobes, Romuald Brunner, Paul Corcoran, Doina Cosman, Christian Haring, Christina W. Hoven, Michael Kaess, Jean Pierre Kahn, Bogdan Nemes, Vita Postuvan, Pilar A. Saiz, Peeter Värnik, Danuta Wasserman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Risk-behaviors are a major contributor to the leading causes of morbidity among adolescents and young people; however, their association with pathological Internet use (PIU) is relatively unexplored, particularly within the European context. The main objective of this study is to investigate the association between risk-behaviors and PIU in European adolescents. This cross-sectional study was conducted within the framework of the FP7 European Union project: Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE). Data on adolescents were collected from randomized schools within study sites across eleven European countries. PIU was measured using Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire (YDQ). Risk-behaviors were assessed using questions procured from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS). A total of 11, 931 adolescents were included in the analyses: 43.4% male and 56.6% female (M/F: 5179/6752), with a mean age of 14.89 ± 0.87 years. Adolescents reporting poor sleeping habits and risk-taking actions showed the strongest associations with PIU, followed by tobacco use, poor nutrition and physical inactivity. Among adolescents in the PIU group, 89.9% were characterized as having multiple risk-behaviors. The significant association observed between PIU and risk-behaviors, combined with a high rate of co-occurrence, underlines the importance of considering PIU when screening, treating or preventing high-risk behaviors among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number294
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2016


  • Adolescents
  • Internet addiction
  • Multiple risk-behaviors
  • Pathological internet use
  • Risk-behavior
  • Unhealthy lifestyles


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