The technological evolution has given the opportunities to develop new models of education, like online teaching. However, Internet Problematic Use and Internet Addiction are becoming frequently represented among adolescents with a prevalence that varies worldwide from 2% to 20% of the high school population.


The aim of this study was to analyse the risk of Internet Addiction in a High Schools student sample comparing two different types of schools (online and traditional teaching) and analyzing the associations between pathological use of Internet and socio-demographic factors connected to the different educational orientations and to the daily usage of Internet.


Students were enrolled from four different orientation school programs (different high school, technical and economical Institute, vocational schools). Each student completed a self-reported test to collect socio-demographic data and th Internet Addiction Test (IAT) from K. Young to assess the risk of Internet Addiction. The Mann-Whitney test for quantitative variables was used for statistical analysis.


522 students were enrolled, 243 students from online teaching and 279 from traditional teaching schools. Internet Addiction was observed in 1,16% of the total sample, while 53.83% of subjects was at risk of development Internet Addiction. No significant difference was found between the two different types of teaching, nor considering gender. Considering the amount of time spent on the web in portion of the sample at risk of developing Internet Addiction, the Traditional Teaching group spent between 4 and 7 hours a day on the Web, while the Online Teaching group between 1 to 3 hours/daily. However, no statistically significant difference was found.


Although our data demonstrate that there is no clear association between online education and problematic use of Internet, the excessive use of Internet is linked to a massive waste of personal energy in terms of time and social life.

Keywords: Problematic Internet Use, Internet Addiction, Online Teaching, Adolescents, Schools, Addiction.
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