ARTICLE
Problematic Internet Use and health behaviors in adolescent residents of urban and rural areas in Poland - a cross-sectional study
 
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1
Department of Medical Law of the Social Medicine Chair, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Żołnierska 48, 71-210, Poland
2
Student Science Club, Social Medicine Chair, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Żołnierska 48, 71-210, Poland
3
Department and Clinic of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Broniewskiego 26, 71-460, Poland
4
Department of Social Medicine and Public Health of the Social Medicine Chair, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Żołnierska 48, 71-210, Poland
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Marta Kożybska   

Department of Medical Law of the Social Medicine Chair, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Szczecin, Żołnierska 48, 71-210, Poland
Submission date: 2019-05-21
Final revision date: 2019-08-26
Acceptance date: 2019-08-28
Online publication date: 2019-12-18
Publication date: 2019-12-18
 
Arch Psych Psych 2019;21(4):82–91
 
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ABSTRACT
Aim of the study:
This paper attempts to assess Internet addiction and health behaviors in Polish adolescent residents of urban and rural areas.

Subject or material and methods:
131 high school students, including 62 (47.3%) residents of rural and 69 (52.7%) residents of urban areas, completed the Polish adaptation of the Problematic Internet Use Test, the Health Behavior Inventory for children and adolescents, and a self-designed survey on the characteristics of Internet use.

Results:
28.2% of respondents used the Internet for over 6 hours on school days, compared to 45.8% on no-school days. In total, high and very high risk of Internet addiction was recorded in 7.7% of respondents. Significantly higher PIU scores were reported in the residents of rural areas (p <0.05). Most respondents exhibited positive health behaviors. Higher index of general health behaviors correlated with a stronger declared willingness to reduce online activity in favor of spending time outside the house.

Discussion:
Creating more opportunities for teenagers to spend time outdoors/away from home can contribute to their reduced online activity, and thus reduce the risk of PIU.

Conclusions:
Young people devote much of their time to Internet use, which is associated with their lesser engagement in health behaviors.

eISSN:2083-828X
ISSN:1509-2046