Title: Effect of internet use on depression, loneliness, aggression and preference for internet communication: a panel study with 10- to 12-year-old children in Japan

Authors: Mieko Takahira, Reiko Ando, Akira Sakamoto

Addresses: National Institute of Multimedia Education, 2–12, Wakaba, Mihama-ku, Chiba 261–0014, Japan. ' Kinjo Gakuin University, 2–1723 Omori, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 463–8521, Japan. ' Ochanomizu University, 2–1–1, Otuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112–8610, Japan

Abstract: We investigated the effect of daily internet use on 10- to 12-year-old Japanese school children (n = 421). Data collected using a two-wave panel study were analysed by Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) using a cross-lagged effect model. The analysis indicated that the use of the internet tended to increase depression, aggression and preference for internet communication, but had no effect on loneliness. Examination of the causal relationships in the opposite direction indicated that children who have higher levels of depression, aggression and preference for internet communication, but lower loneliness, tended to use the internet more.

Keywords: internet use; loneliness; depressed mood; decreased interest; anger; hostility; verbal aggression; Japan; communication preferences; internet communication; panel study; elementary school children; depression.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2008.019191

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2008 Vol.4 No.3, pp.302 - 318

Published online: 02 Jul 2008 *

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