Internet Addiction Affects Behavior and Development of Adolescents

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.

Adolescents with an internet addiction undergo changes in the brain that could lead to additional addictive behavior and tendencies, finds a new study by UCL researchers.

The findings, published in PLOS Mental Health, reviewed 12 articles involving 237 young people aged 10–19 with a formal diagnosis of internet addiction between 2013 and 2023.

Internet addiction has been defined as a person’s inability to resist the urge to use the internet, negatively impacting their psychological well-being, as well as their social, academic and professional lives.

The studies used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to inspect the functional connectivity (how regions of the brain interact with each other) of participants with internet addiction, both while resting and completing a task.

The effects of internet addiction were seen throughout multiple neural networks in the brains of adolescents. There was a mixture of increased and decreased activity in the parts of the brain that are activated when resting (the default mode network).

Meanwhile, there was an overall decrease in the functional connectivity in the parts of the brain involved in active thinking (the executive control network).

These changes were found to lead to addictive behaviors and tendencies in adolescents, as well as behavior changes associated with intellectual ability, physical coordination, mental health and development.

Source: MedicalXpress

Help us reach the next generation of families

Back to Top

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)