Prevalence of Internet Addiction in a Sample of Southern Italian High School Students

  • Antonio Bruno
  • Giuseppe Scimeca
  • Lucia Cava
  • Gianluca Pandolfo
  • Rocco A. Zoccali
  • Maria R.A. Muscatello


The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of Internet Addiction (IA) in a sample of Italian high school students accounting for age, gender, place of residence, and kind of internet activity. The Internet Addiction Test (IAT) was administered to a sample of 1,035 high schools students (ages ranging from 13 to 22 years; 47.92 % girls) from three southern Italian cities. The prevalence of pathological Internet use in our high school students sample was 3.9 %, with males showing a higher likelihood of developing pathological Internet use. The most recurring Internet activities for excessive users were online games and online communication. No effect of age, place of residence, and region of residence was found. The results of this study reaffirm the importance of active involvement by experts dealing with addiction to implement programs for primary and secondary intervention among high school students.


Internet addiction High school students Prevalence Gender differences Addictive behaviour 



We would like to thank all the teen-age participants, their teachers and parents for their time and effort. We are also grateful to School Departments of the cities involved in the study whose collaboration has made possible the development of the research project.

Conflicts of Interest

The Authors declare that no competing financial interests exist.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Bruno
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Scimeca
    • 1
  • Lucia Cava
    • 1
  • Gianluca Pandolfo
    • 1
  • Rocco A. Zoccali
    • 1
  • Maria R.A. Muscatello
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychiatry Unit - Department of NeurosciencesUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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