eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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2/2022
vol. 35
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Digital natives in online classes. Internet use among Warsaw adolescents prior to, and during, the COVID-19 pandemic. Mokotów Study 2016-2020

Jakub Greń
1
,
Krzysztof Ostaszewski
1
,
Krzysztof Jan Bobrowski
1
,
Agnieszka Pisarska
1
,
Daria Biechowska
2

1.
Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Public Health Department, Youth Prevention Unit “Pro-M”, Warsaw, Poland
2.
Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Public Health Department, Warsaw, Poland
Alcohol Drug Addict 2022; 35 (2): 141-170
Online publish date: 2022/12/16
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Introduction
The internet has become a part of adolescents’ lives with all the positive and negative consequences. The major risks include so-called problematic internet use (PIU). The latest Mokotów Study provided an opportunity to examine adolescents’ internet use during the pandemic. This is one of the few studies in this area conducted on adolescents from Poland.

Material and methods
The study participants’ group consisted of first-year high school students from Warsaw (N = 769, 14-16 years of age, 47.6% female). An online questionnaire was used for the study. The IADQ developed by Kimberly Young was used to measure internet-use patterns. The results were compared to the previous round of the Mokotów Study from 2016.

Results
Compared to the 2016 study wave, the severity of most PIU-symptoms increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the percentages of adolescents using the internet in a risky manner (3-4 PIU-symptoms) increased significantly. In contrast, no significant changes were observed in the percentages of adolescents who use the internet in a dysfunctional manner (5-8 PIU-symptoms). PIU symptoms were found to be significantly higher among girls.

Discussion
The results indicate that adolescents’ risky internet use increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the increase was not as spectacular as could have been expected. This may mean that, while for some teenagers, more intensive internet use during the pandemic contributed to related problems, for others it may play an adaptive role.

Conclusions
The results of our study suggest the need to take care of adolescents’ “digital hygiene”, understood as creative, responsible and nonharmful forms of internet use.

keywords:

Adolescents, COVID-19 pandemic, Mokotów Study, Prevalence, Problematic internet use

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