Effect of internet on the psychosomatic health of adolescent school children in Rourkela - A cross-sectional study

Meenakshi Mitra, Paramananda Rath

Abstract


Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the effect of internet use on the psychosomatic health of adolescent school children in Rourkela. Methods: The study involved a population of 484 school students of Rourkela in the age groups of 13-18 years. History taking and clinical examination were done to know any existing health problem. Young people’s internet usage questionnaire” was handed over to enquire internet use practices. The parents of these children were asked to fill in “pediatric symptom checklist” to know psychological problems. Each answered questionnaire was given a specific serial number. The data collected from these matched sets of questionnaires as per serial number were analyzed using Chi-square test and ANOVA (to compare average number of health problems among the groups). A p<0.05 is considered significant. Results: It was found that more frequent internet user suffered from sleeplessness (p=0.048), increased interest in sexual activity (p<0.001), and conduct problems (p=0.013). Getting cyberbullied had statistically significant association with increased interest in sex (p=0.012), low mood (p=0.001), lack of concentration (p<0.001), anxiety (p=0.002), aggression (p=0.003), backache (p=0.001), headache (p=0.001), eye pain (p<0.001), and attention problems (p=0.017). Visiting porn sites were associated with interest in sex (p<0.001), low mood (p<0.001), lack of concentration (p=0.020), and unexplained anxiety (p<0.001). Conclusions: Frequency of internet use, cyberbullying, and visiting pornographic sites had a significant association with some physical and psychological health problems. For the victims of cyberbullying, average number inexplicable diseases/problems are significantly more than that of nonvictims (p<0.001).

Keywords


Adolescent, Cyberbullying, Internet, Pornography

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