Prevalence and Risk Factors of Internet Addiction (IA) Among National Primary School Children in Malaysia
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Internet addiction (IA) is a growing issue with evidence of negative health and social outcomes to the user. However, data is lacking for younger children. This study determined the prevalence of IA among primary school students and its associated factors. A total of 178 school-children aged 11 years old and their parents consented to fill the validated Malay version of the Internet Addiction Test (MVIAT). The prevalence of IA among school-children and parents was 23.0% and 15.7%, respectively. In children, Internet usage was higher during school holidays (120 min/day) than during schooling day (60 min/day). There is a positive and significant correlation of MVIAT scores between children and their parents (r = 0.28, p < 0.001). IA was significantly associated with Malay ethnicity [AOR 2.32 (1.94, 5.78)] and longer duration of Internet use during holidays [AOR 1.02 (1.01, 1.04)] but using the Internet to seek information was less likely to be associated with IA [AOR 0.44(0.20, 0.75)]. Data on Internet addiction among young children can support public policy on Internet addiction. Effort should be taken to prevent IA among younger children by monitoring their Internet usage.
KeywordsInternet addiction Children Internet Addiction Computer
The authors would like to thank the Director of Health Malaysia for permission to publish this paper and Ministry of Education by giving the permission to collect the data from the primary school children.
Informed consent was taken from parents of the participating children.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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