Research And Studies Of The Effects Of The Internet On Children

The effects of the Internet on children have been studied for as long as the World Wide Web has been in existence, as parents worry that this far-reaching technology can be detrimental to their kids. The Internet can be a wonderful resource for children and teens, as they can access educational opportunities, support and other positives from the web.
Researchers. however, are also finding that the Internet can have a negative effect on psyche and development, by increasing aggression and depression in pre-teens and teenagers and stunting their feelings about sexual behavior.

Effects of the Internet on Children: Aggression and Depression on the Rise

Investigators in Japan discovered in 2008 that daily Internet use by 10- to 12-year-olds tended to increase depression and aggression (International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2008).
Researchers reversed the system of study and found that children who displayed the highest levels of depression and aggression were also the ones who used the Internet the most. The study also concluded, however, that Internet use didn’t negatively impact loneliness.
A similar study in 2010 of Chinese teenagers ages 13 to 18 found that teens who have an unhealthy dependence on the Internet are more than twice as likely to become depressed as other teens.
Additionally, the study found that young people who are free of mental health problems before using the Internet pathologically can develop depression as a result (Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2010).

Dangers of the Internet: Pornography’s Effect on Children

One of the most accessible dangers on the Internet is adult-only material like pornography. The Web is filled with easily accessible, sexually explicit images and videos that don’t require passwords or credit card information.
Many sites simply ask users to indicate that they are over 18. Over 40 million Americans visit porn websites each year, but these sites can have a profound affect on children and teens (American Psychological Association (APA), 2007).
Studies have found it difficult to link access to Internet porn and certain attitudes in children. But some researchers have reported that young people who have viewed Internet pornography are more like to view sex as a purely physical function without thinking of the emotional, health or social complications.
These sites, all of which are major risks of the Internet for kids, are viewed by 40 percent of teens and preteens either deliberately or accidentally (APA 2007).