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The 2-Year Course of Internet Addiction Among a Japanese Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic Sample with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder


Internet addiction (IA) has been reported as prevalent in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the course of IA in this population has not been elucidated. The authors performed a 2-year follow-up study including 89 out of 132 adolescents with ASD and/or ADHD in a psychiatric clinical setting who participated in the original cross-sectional study assessing IA prevalence. Within this sample of participants from both the original and the follow-up study, results showed a 2-year IA remission and incidence rate of 60% and 5%, respectively. Our findings imply that the course of IA in psychiatric populations with ASD and/or ADHD might be similar to reports from previous studies with general adolescent populations.

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The authors would like to thank M. Miki, R. Ohta, and K. Kitagawa for coordinating and managing data during the baseline and follow-up studies. We would also like to thank the outpatient clinic staff in Okayama Psychiatric Medical Center for their assistance in data collection during the baseline and follow-up studies. Finally, we thank J. Miyata, M. Ogura, Y. Sato, and the staff of the child and adolescent psychiatry department in Okayama Psychiatric Medical Center for providing helpful suggestions regarding the follow-up study.


This study has not received grants from any funding agency.

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Authors and Affiliations



RS conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination, performed statistical analysis, interpretation of data, and drafted the manuscript; KM conceived the study, participated in its design, coordination, data collection and interpretation, and helped to draft the manuscript; TH participated in the study design, interpretation of data, and helped to draft the manuscript; MF participated in the study design, interpretation of data, and helped to draft the manuscript; KO, SK, and ST participated in data collection and interpretation and helped to draft the manuscript; MI participated in the study design and coordination, interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript; All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ryuhei So.

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Conflict of interest

KM, KO, SI, and ST have no conflict of interest to declare. RS has received professional fees from Igaku-shoin Co. Ltd., Kagaku-hyoronsha Co. Ltd., Medical Review Co. Ltd., and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., outside the submitted work. TH has received professional fees for speaking at the symposia of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.. MF has received professional fees from Mochida Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Eli Lilly Japan K.K., Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. Ltd., Sentan Igaku-sha Ltd., Igaku-Shoin Ltd., and Iyaku (Medicine and Drug) Journal Co. Ltd. outside the submitted work. MI declares that he has received grants from Novartis. He has received lecture fees from Meiji, Mochida, Takeda, Novartis, Yoshitomi, Pfizer, Eisai, Otsuka, and MSD and personal fees from Technomics. Institution of MI received grant or research support from Eisai, Astellas, Dainippon-Sumitomo, Pfizer, Daiichi-Sankyo, Takeda, and MSD outside the submitted work. The institution to which MF belongs has received grants and research support from Eisai Co. Ltd., Mochida Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Astellas Pharma Inc., Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline K. K., Shionogi & Co., Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. Ltd., Jansen Pharmaceutical K. K., Pfizer Japan Inc., MSD K. K., Yoshitomiyakuhin Corporation, Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd., Meiji Seika Pharma Co. Ltd., Tsumura & Co., AbbVie, Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., and Eli Lilly Japan K. K.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964 and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

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Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

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So, R., Makino, K., Hirota, T. et al. The 2-Year Course of Internet Addiction Among a Japanese Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic Sample with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 49, 4515–4522 (2019).

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  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Internet addiction
  • Prognosis
  • Health-related quality of life