Digital Youth pp 157-178 | Cite as

When Is It Too Much? Excessive Internet Use and Addictive Behavior

  • Kaveri Subrahmanyam
  • David Šmahel
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


As technology is becoming central in our lives, we are seeing cases of extreme use and dependence on these newer tools. Although we find such excessive Internet use among all age groups, it is especially prevalent among adolescents and emerging adults and this chapter focuses on such “addictive behavior” on the Internet. An important issue that we consider is whether it is even appropriate to use the term “addiction” in the context of Internet users. Next, we describe what addictive behavior on the Internet entails along with information about the prevalence of addictive behavior among adolescents. Then we discuss the symptoms considered to be red flags for Internet-related addictive behavior and describe the personal and social context of addictive behavior on the Internet. We discuss separately four areas of online addictions: online gaming, online relationships (communication), virtual sexual behavior, and online gambling. Finally, we describe the therapeutic approaches used to treat addictive behavior on the Internet.


Internet User Online Communication Addictive Behavior Internet Addiction Online Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Social StudiesMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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