Author(s): Young KS
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Abstract Research over the last decade has identified Internet addiction as a new and often unrecognized clinical disorder that impact a user's ability to control online use to the extent that it can cause relational, occupational, and social problems. While much of the literature explores the psychological and social factors underlying Internet addiction, little if any empirical evidence exists that examines specific treatment outcomes to deal with this new client population. Researchers have suggested using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as the treatment of choice for Internet addiction, and addiction recovery in general has utilized CBT as part of treatment planning. To investigate the efficacy of using CBT with Internet addicts, this study investigated 114 clients who suffered from Internet addiction and received CBT at the Center for Online Addiction. This study employed a survey research design, and outcome variables such as client motivation, online time management, improved social relationships, improved sexual functioning, engagement in offline activities, and ability to abstain from problematic applications were evaluated on the 3rd, 8th, and 12th sessions and over a 6-month follow-up. Results suggested that Caucasian, middle-aged males with at least a 4-year degree were most likely to suffer from some form of Internet addiction. Preliminary analyses indicated that most clients were able to manage their presenting complaints by the eighth session, and symptom management was sustained upon a 6-month follow-up. As the field of Internet addiction continues to grow, such outcome data will be useful in treatment planning with evidenced-based protocols unique to this emergent client population.
This article was published in Cyberpsychol Behav
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy