A recent study examined patterns of Internet use in young adolescents in an effort to identify which patterns predict clinically relevant problem behaviors. The researchers found that frequent online gaming, Internet communication, and playing "first-person shooter" games predicted externalizing behavior problems, while playing fantasy video games was associated with internalizing problems. Boys and girls had distinct use habits for Internet and video games but similar daily use and rates of behavior problems.
The study included 205 (105 female) students from Austria, ranging in age from 10 to 14 (mean 12.7 years). In 2007, participants at both urban and rural schools completed an anonymous survey. Average time per day on the Internet was measured in 30-minute intervals, with a minimum of 0 (no Internet use) and a maximum of 4 or more hours per day.
Three relevant categories of computer/ Internet use were explored: communication (e-mail, chat rooms, social networking sites); …