One in 10 young people compulsively use the internet


A teenager playing video games.

A teenager playing video games.

When to watch WhatsApp, social networks or Youtube Becomes a obsession and causes a deterioration in family or social relationships that do not take place through the screen or in the school or work performance, experts consider that this person performs a “compulsive internet use”. In Spain, it is estimated that 3.7% of the population between 15 and 64 years of age can suffer from this disorder, that is, 1.1 million Spaniards, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health on behavioral addictions (those that do not require a substance, such as alcohol or drugs). The percentage has gone in increase, given that in 2015 it was estimated that almost 3% of the Spanish population suffered from it. Furthermore, the prevalence grows to 11.3% if the age group of 15 to 24 years, especially among women.

The demoscopic investigation dedicates a specific chapter to the video game, since the World Health Organization (who) included the disorder associated with excessive consumption of this type of leisure in 2018, in the eleventh revision of the international classification of diseases. The report of the Ministry of Health indicates that 6.1% of Spanish students between 14 and 18 years of age suffer a potential disorder due to number of hours and the importance it attaches to videogames. And the prevalence doubles, to 12%, when the reference population is that of students who have played in the last 12 months.

The competitions

And it is that 82% of young people declare to have played video games in the last year, almost 50% to eSports (which is about video game competitions) and 34% declare having been a spectator while others played.

26% of people with a possible disorder spend, on average, more than five hours a day playing video games

The problem is that 26% of those with a possible disorder dedicate, on average,, more than five hours per day, compared to the 5.6% who dedicate that time of the total of students between 14 and 18 years old.

On the other hand, the report warns that in the population as a whole and not only among young people, the number of people who play with money online, especially in sports bets and lotteries such as primitives or digital bonoloto. Thus, if in 2017 3.5% of the population had played in the last year, in 2019 this percentage increased to 6.7% of the population between 15 and 64 years old.

Online game

And the possible problem gambling o gambling disorder is greater among people who gamble online than among face-to-face gambling fans. In 2019, 0.9% of the population between 15 and 64 years of age suffered a possible problem gambling over the internet, a value that increases to 15% among those who have played in the last year.

In the population that gambles online, there is a preference among men for bets sports (58%), while women predominate lotteries, including primitives and bonoloto (45%). The maximum amount played in a single day among most internet players is in the range of between 6 and 30 euros, similar amount to that used in the face-to-face game.

The research also warns that online gambling addicts have a higher prevalence in other risky behaviors, such as excessive consumption of daily alcohol or tobacco.

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