Objectives: This study examined the associations between Internet addiction and suicide and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) among South Korean adolescents.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 1694 Korean adolescents. The suicidal Ideation Questionnaire and Deliberate Self- Harm Inventories were used to identify high-risk suicide and NSSI groups, respectively. Internet addiction was assessed using the Internet Addiction Scale. Other questionnaires included sociodemographic data, perceived academic stress, and daily life-related factors. We also performed a logistic regression analysis using the high suicide risk and NSSI groups as dependent variables.
Results: The high suicide risk and NSSI prevalence rates among participants were 11.8% and 28.3%, respectively. A multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that Internet addiction is associated with higher suicide risk and NSSI. Additionally, being female and academic stress were significant suicide risk factors, while male participants had a higher NSSI prevalence.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that monitoring adolescents’ Internet use and providing education to prevent Internet addiction would lower high suicide and NSSI risk. Moreover, suicide and NSSI risk screening in adolescents with Internet addiction and providing suitable interventions will be essential for the preventing suicide and NSSI.
Keywords: Adolescents; Internet addiction; Non-suicidal self-injury; Suicide.