NEW YORK (Reuters) – Crackberry is no joke.
American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Maryland who asked 200 students to give up all media for one full day found that after 24 hours many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their media and social links.
Susan Moeller, the study’s project director and a journalism professor at the university, said many students wrote about how they hated losing their media connections, which some equated to going without friends and family.
“I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening,” said one student. “Between having a Blackberry, a laptop, a television, and an iPod, people have become unable to shed their media skin.”
Moeller said students complained most about their need to use text messages, instant messages, e-mail and Facebook.
“Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,” wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. “When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.”
Few students reported watching TV news or reading a newspaper.
The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize so-called Internet addiction as a disorder.
But it seems to be an affliction of modern life. In one extreme example in South Korea reported by the media, a couple allegedly neglected their three-month-old daughter, who died of malnutrition, because they were on the computer for up to 12 hours a day raising a virtual child.
In the United States a small private U.S. center called ReSTART, located near Redmond, Washington, opened last year in the shadow of computer giant Microsoft to treat excessive use of the Internet, video gaming and texting.
The center’s website cites various examples of students who ran up large debts or dropped out of college due to their obsession.
Students in the Maryland study also showed no loyalty to news programs, a news personality or news platform. They maintained a casual relationship to news brands, and rarely distinguished between news and general information.
“They care about what is going on among their friends and families and even in the world at large,” said Ph.D. student Raymond McCaffrey who worked on the study. Loyalty “does not seemed tied to any single device or application or news outlet.”
(Reporting by Walden Siew; Editing by Patricia Reaney)
Reduction in Recidivism in a Juvenile Mental Health Court: A Pre- and Post-Treatment Outcome Study
Juvenile and Family Court Journal 60, no. 3 (Summer), © 2009 National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
A review by Monic P. Behnken, David E. Arredondo, and Wendy L. Packman of an evaluation of the Court for the Individualized Treatment of Adolescents (CITA, a prototype Juvenile Mental Health Court in Santa Clara, California) is presented along with admission criteria.
Click on the link above to download this publication. Further publications by or featuring Dr. Arredondo are available for download on the Publications & Media page of his Information for Clients website.
SAN CARLOS — With a third Palo Alto student apparently committing suicide on the Caltrain tracks in just four months, railroad officials, educators and mental health professionals described the deaths Monday as an extremely rare “cluster.” [...]
“There is a real problem at this high school and in Palo Alto — these children are killing themselves and they’re doing it in a particular way,” said clinical psychiatrist David Arredondo, a national consultant on teen suicide. “We need less blame and more understanding of what’s really going on in the culture of these high schools.”
[...] Also, a group of health care providers has been meeting to analyze the specific circumstances, and determine where there are holes in mental health services for local children in crisis. The group includes psychiatrists, student counselors and other professionals from Palo Alto and Stanford University seeking to dispel the stigma surrounding common mental health problems such as depression.
According to a study, 8.5 percent of high school sophomores in California attempt suicide, which is the third leading cause of death for that demographic, right after homicide. And according to research compiled for the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, 57 Bay Area youths ages 15 to 24 committed suicide in 2007. Of those, 14 were in Santa Clara County and four in San Mateo County. [...]
Donald has been in and out of mental health programs since he attacked a schoolteacher at age 5. As he grew older, he became more violent until he was eventually committed to the Department of Youth Services.
“I’ve begged D.Y.S. to get him into a mental facility where they’re trained to deal with people like him,” said his grandmother, who asked not to be identified because of the stigma of having a grandson who is mentally ill. “I don’t think a lockup situation is where he should be, although I don’t think he should be on the street either.”