Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pathological Disorders in People with Internet Addiction

Below is article posted on the Center on Media and Child Health:

Guangheng Dong1*, Qilin Lu2, Hui Zhou1, Xuan Zhao1
1 Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, People's Republic of China, 2 Institute of Neuroinformatics, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, People's Republic of China

Abstract Top


This study aimed to evaluate the roles of pathological disorders in Internet addiction disorder and identify the pathological problems in IAD, as well as explore the mental status of Internet addicts prior to addiction, including the pathological traits that may trigger Internet addiction disorder.

Methods and Findings

59 students were measured by Symptom CheckList-90 before and after they became addicted to the Internet. A comparison of collected data from Symptom Checklist-90 before Internet addiction and the data collected after Internet addiction illustrated the roles of pathological disorders among people with Internet addiction disorder. The obsessive-compulsive dimension was found abnormal before they became addicted to the Internet. After their addiction, significantly higher scores were observed for dimensions on depression, anxiety, hostility, interpersonal sensitivity, and psychoticism, suggesting that these were outcomes of Internet addiction disorder. Dimensions on somatisation, paranoid ideation, and phobic anxiety did not change during the study period, signifying that these dimensions are not related to Internet addiction disorder.


We can not find a solid pathological predictor for Internet addiction disorder. Internet addiction disorder may bring some pathological problems to the addicts in some ways.

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Kiki the Kannibal: The Girl Who Played with Fire."

In this months Rolling Stone magazine there is an article about a 14 year old female in Florida who used MySpace to create an avatar or digitial persona. The artcile follows how an insecure and awkward teen created a very confident and sexy persona named Kiki.

Kiki shared photos that were sexually provocative and as one would imagine gained attention -- of all types.. The article exmaines the online reactions and looks at the broader issues related to teens creating digitial personas. Very interesting, indeed. Just thought I would pass this along. If you check it out, pplease let me know what you think.

Below is an excerpt from the article:
By Sabrina Rubin Erdely
April 15, 2011 9:00 AM ET
The first thing Kiki Ostrenga saw as she ran out the front door of her family's white ranch house were the neon-green words spray-painted across the front path: "Regal Slut." She stopped short. Maybe this is just a dream, she thought. The 14-year-old took a few fearful steps forward. She gasped when she reached the driveway. Her parents' home was splattered with ketchup, chocolate syrup and eggs. And across the garage door, big as a billboard, was scrawled the word "SLUT."
Photos: Teen Internet Celebrity Kiki Kannibal
"Oh, my God," Kiki whispered. Her mother and 11-year-old sister stepped outside, and their faces froze in horror. That's when Kiki burst into sobs. This was more than she could handle. For the past year, she had endured the hateful blogs and e-mails, the threats and prank calls, the late-night drive-bys with teenagers screaming her name out of car windows. Just this week, at an all-ages punk show, a pack of girls had recognized Kiki in the audience and jumped her, cramming gum into her bleached-blond hair. But this vandalism of her home was a different level of harassment.
This article appears in the April 28, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone. The issue is available now in the online archive.
A year earlier, Kirsten "Kiki" Ostrenga was just another tween nobody living her so-called life in Coral Springs, Florida. Then she got a MySpace account, and everything changed. A stylish wisp of a girl who adored punky "scene kid" fashion, Kiki began filling her MySpace page with pouty photos of herself in heavy makeup and cropped tops, adopting a persona as brash and outrageous as the real Kirsten was awkward and insecure. She named her creation "Kiki Kannibal," and her new and improved online self swiftly became an Internet celebrity. But fame had come with a backlash she could never have anticipated.
Sex, Drugs, and the Biggest Cybercrime of All Time: The fast times & hard fall of three teenage friends with a knack for illegal code
Still crying, Kiki clambered into the family car. Despite that morning's shock, she had to run: She was late for the first of two appointments, which summed up her life. The first was a modeling gig at a local hair salon, for which Kiki was dolled up in a pink tube top, skinny jeans and heels, her makeup now a tragic ruin. Her second appointment was with a sex-crimes detective, investigating a pedophile who had sought her out online and taken advantage of her.
As her mom backed the car out of the driveway, Kiki took one last look at their house, where her father stood before the graffiti-ridden garage, raising one hand in a cheerless goodbye. She wondered if this would go down as the strangest day of her young life.
The Battle For Facebook
Not by a long shot. Kiki was hurtling into a twisted online realm, populated not just with trash-talking teens but also with stalkers, hackers, predators and profiteers. She didn't realize the Web can be a portal for people's cruelest impulses, or that it allows those forces to assemble into a mob. She didn't know that her life was about to become an extreme parable about connection and celebrity in the digital age — that the next four years would be fraught with danger, threats to her family, and a violent death. She had yet to understand what a lot of us don't comprehend: that our virtual lives can take on their own momentum, rippling outward with real-life consequences we can neither predict nor control.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Teen Use of Social Media

Article: LA Times

Teenage social media butterflies may not be such a bad idea

Kids most likely to spend a lot of time texting and on Facebook, among other networking sites, may be more well-adjusted, studies suggest.

May 18, 2010|
By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times

With his gaze fixed on a tiny screen, hearing plugged by earbuds and fingers flying, the average teenager may look like a disaster in the making: socially stunted, terminally distracted and looking for trouble. But look beyond the dizzying array of beeping, buzzing devices and the incessant multitasking, say psychologists, and today's digital kids may not be such a disaster after all. Far from hampering adolescents' social skills or putting them in harm's way, as many parents have feared, electronics appear to be the path by which children today develop emotional bonds, their own identities, and an ability to communicate and work with others.

In fact, children most likely to spend lots of time on social media sites are not the least well-adjusted but the healthiest psychologically, suggests an early, but accumulating, body of research.
In one new study, 13- and 14-year-olds were found to interact on social network sites such as Facebook and MySpace simply in ways that were consistent with their offline relationships and patterns of behavior. And of the 86% of children who used social media sites (a number that reflects the national average), participants who were better adjusted in their early teens were more likely to use social media in their early 20s, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity or their parents' income.

Adolescents are largely using social networking sites to keep in touch with friends they already know, not to converse with strangers, said the author of that research, University of Virginia psychologist Amori Yee Mikami. "So parents of well-adjusted teens may have little to worry about regarding the way their children behave when using social media," Mikami added. "It's likely to be similarly positive behavior."
Megan Mills, a Los Angeles eighth-grader, and her mother would agree. Megan cut her digital teeth on the 'tween social networking site Club Penguin.

Now 14, she has graduated to a Facebook account. She counts her mom among her many "friends" — a status that gives Donna Schwartz Mills access to her daughter's ongoing electronic chatter and a condition that Mills laid down before allowing her daughter's foray into teen social networking.
Mills, 54 and herself a blogger, says she's seen little to fret about — and much to cheer — on her periodic visits to her daughter's Facebook page. The teen, who has scaled back a once all-consuming commitment to gymnastics, keeps in touch with friends and coaches from that phase of her life, as well as with current friends that Mills knows well. "People are always worried about the Internet making it easier for strangers to hurt your children," Mills says. But she points out, "The dangers are the old dangers of who they hang out with."
In studies of teenagers and young adults, Cal State L.A. psychology professor Kaveri Subrahmanyam has also found that children's online worlds and friendships strongly resemble their relationships offline, with overlapping casts of characters and similar hierarchies of closeness."I think the majority of kids use it in ways that don't jeopardize their well-being," she said.Ultimately, it seems, the digital world is simply a new and perhaps more multidimensional place to conduct the age-old work of adolescence — forming identities separate from those of parents.
Every waking hour
Just how outsized is digital media's presence in a child's life? In January, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that for more than 7 1/2 hours a day, American children ages 8 to 18 are tethered to computers, plugged into MP3 players, watching TV or playing video, computer or handheld games — and for much of that time, doing several at once. Add to that tally time spent texting by cellphone — an activity the Kaiser study did not include — and for most children, the daily log of media immersion would surpass time spent sleeping. A report by the Pew Research Center released in April found that 72% of U.S. teens text-message regularly, a third of them more than 100 times a day. As a means of keeping up with friends daily, teens are more likely to text than to talk by phone, by e-mail or face to face.
But a recent study in the journal Developmental Psychology underscores the point that it is largely the child, not the technology or even the time a kid spends using it, that seems to influence how safely he or she will navigate the digital world.

Certainly there are dangers online, says Subrahmanyam, also the associate director of the Children's Digital Media Center in Los Angeles. But the new media "is ultimately a tool" for children, she says. Most will use it constructively.

Help for pornography addiction from Sexual Recovery Institute

Below is a information from SRI (Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles) website:

If you suspect you are a pornography addict, or if you are concerned that someone you know may be a porn addict, here is information that will help.

About Pornography Addiction

Pornography addiction has its roots in the viewing and hoarding of magazine and video pornography. However, these days porn addicts have new and frighteningly powerful enablers: the Internet, Smartphones, and social media.
Porn addicts today can feed their Internet porn problem by viewing online still photos, downloading porn videos, or by having webcam sex (paid and unpaid). Some use the Internet to simply view images while others eventually end up using the Internet as a vehicle to meet with anonymous sexual partners. The ‘new media’ of smartphones offers some addicts instant phone-based porn downloads along with wherever/whenever live video streaming of sexual activities, while Facebook can leave some cruising images and profiles for hours on end.
What is porn addiction?
Similar to someone with a chemical or substance addiction, porn addicts tend to replace important relationships and commitments with their “drug” of choice: pornography. Non-Internet porn addicts can be found in places like strip clubs and adult bookstores, but it is unlikely that they have a strip club addiction or an adult bookstore addiction, but rather that they have consistent and compulsive sexual problems that manifest in different ways.
Pornography addicts tend to isolate themselves when engaging in their sexual acting out. They can typically spend many hours or even days lost in two-dimensional images and experiences. Some also lose time to Internet addictions such as online fantasy games and/or gambling sites.
Nonsexual Internet addiction can also be painfully isolating, causing real life consequences for the person addicted to online gambling or fantasy games, but Internet porn addiction also carries a moral stigma and the likelihood that important love and sex relationships will be negatively affected.
While some sex and porn addicts use compulsive masturbation as a part of their acting out, others engage only minimally in the sex act itself but nonetheless end up lose themselves to the endless sexual images and sites found online.

Some signs of porn addiction can include:

• An inability to stop the behavior(s) and porn use despite previous attempts to do so
• Anger or irritability if asked to stop
• Hiding or attempting to keep secret all or a part of the porn use
• Living a double or secret life related to porn
• Continuing the behavior despite obvious consequences, such as a relationship or job loss
• Getting lost in the problem porn use (i.e., spending more time than intended, losing time)

Getting Better

Recovery from porn addiction requires honesty and outreach. For those addicted to porn and sexual acting out, honesty begins by finding someone knowledgeable working with sexual addiction and admitting entire the problem to them without omitting the embarrassing or humiliating parts. Such people can be found in the 12-step sexual recovery meetings and through professional organizations such as SASH and IITAP, which have listings of sexual addiction specialists. The Sexual Recovery Institute specializes in the treatment of pornography addiction, and we offer a confidential assessment to help you move to the next step.
Getting help with porn addiction can feel shameful, embarrassing, or humiliating, but those feelings have to be tolerated when the greater concern is that the pornography addictions will significantly interfere in the life of the sex addict or in the lives of those they love.
The sex addict involved in internet porn addiction often has to arrive at to his or her own conclusion to make a change, a decision that often comes a lot later than their partners would like or can tolerate.

Porn addiction help tips

Below are listed a few tips for dealing with porn addiction:
• Talking about the issues in detail with a trusted friend or therapist who will be as honest with you as you are honest with them.
• Making an addiction prevention plan to carry out when tempted (see Sexual Sobriety)
• Putting tracking devices on your smartphone and computer so others (best not a spouse) can monitor your online behavior
• Knowing the signs of porn addiction, both the general signs and those specific to you
• Knowing the stages of porn addiction
• Making good use of porn addiction resources such as 12-step meetings, sex addiction professionals, and online recovery support groups


Teen pornography addiciton

                                     Statistics taken from www.enough.org

Worldwide pornography revenue in 2006 was $97.06 billion. Of that, approximately $13 billion was in the United States (Internet Filter Review, 2006).
Every second, $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography, 28,258 Internet viewers are viewing pornography, 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines, and every 39 minutes, a new pornographic video is made in the United States (Internet Filter Review, 2006).
79% of youth unwanted exposure to pornography occurs in the home (Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later, 2006).


Child pornography is one of the fastest growing businesses online, and the content is becoming much worse. In 2008, Internet Watch Foundation found 1,536 individual child abuse domains. (Internet Watch Foundation. Annual Report, 2008).
Of all known child abuse domains, 58 percent are housed in the United States (Internet Watch Foundation. Annual Report, 2008).
The fastest growing demand in commercial websites for child abuse is for images depicting the worst type of abuse, including penetrative sexual activity involving children and adults and sadism or penetration by an animal (Internet Watch Foundation. Annual Report, 2008).
In a study of arrested child pornography possessors, 40 percent had both sexually victimized children and were in possession of child pornography. Of those arrested between 2000 and 2001, 83 percent had images involving children between the ages 6 and 12; 39 percent had images of children between ages 3 and 5; and 19% had images of infants and toddlers under age 3 (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Child Pornography Possessors Arrested in Internet-Related Crimes: Findings fro the National Juvenile Online Victimization Study.


In 2005, worldwide revenue from mobile phone pornography is expected to rise to $1 billion and could grow to three times that number or more within a few years (Bryan-Low, Cassel and Pringle, David. "Sex Cells: Wireless Operators Find That Racy Cellphone Video Drives Surge in Broadband Use." The Wall Street Journal. May 12, 2005.)
According to IDC, a technology research firm, by the end of 2004 approximately 21 million 5- to 19-year-olds had wireless phones.
Adult content on mobile telephones and other portable devices is anticipated to hit $1 billion in worldwide revenues during 2005, according to market research firm Juniper Research. (Juniper Research, "Adult to Mobile: Personal Services," February 2005)


Currently, there are over 644,865 Registered Sex Offenders in the United States; an estimated 10,000 have been lost in the system (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 2008).
The predominant sex crime scenario doesn't involve violence or stranger molesters posing online as children; only 5 percent of offenders concealed the fact they were adults from their victims. Almost 80 percent of offenders were explicit about their intentions with youth. In 73 percent of crimes, youth go to meet the offender on multiple occasions for multiple sexual encounters (NJOV Study, 2007).
Teens are willing to meet with strangers: 16 percent of teens considered meeting someone they've only talked to online and 8 percent have actually met someone they only knew online (Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later. 2006).
Four percent of all youth Internet users received aggressive sexual solicitations, which threatened to spill over into "real life". These solicitors asked to meet the youth in person, called them on the telephone, or sent offline mail, money, or gifts. Also 4 percent of youth Internet users had distressing sexual solicitations that left them feeling upset of extremely afraid (Online Victimization of Youth: Five Years Later, 2006).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The 5 C's: guidelines for youth exposure to media

What you need to know about media and children's health

Young people spend more time using media -- TV, movies, music, computers, cell phones, and video games -- than engaging in any other single activity except sleep!

The media that children use and create play a key role in the development of their growing sense of themselves, of their world, and how they will learn to interact with their world. For any given child the way media shapes their sense of self and the world depends on the content of the media they take in/integrate, as well as the child's age, the amount of media, and whether the use is active and critical.

Five C's for families: Guidelines for  shaping media's influence on your child or teen:

Control time: No more that 1 to 2 hours per day (max).
Content matters: All media are educational. Some teach accurate, healthful lessons, while others teach distorted and harmful lessons.
Context is important: Where, when, how, and why and WITH WHOM young poeple use media strongly influences whether the media enrich or harm children.
Critical thinking: Teaching children active, critical media use is essential for healthy development.
Create and model media mastery: What we feed children's minds is as important as what we feed their bodies. Teach children a healthy media diet and continually engage in a discussion about media rather than passively consuming media.

Teen Sex Addiction: When Should a Parent be Concerned?

The following material is from the Oxbow Academy website. Oxbow is a residential treatment program in Utah that specializes in sexually compulsive behavior (including sex offender behaviors). I have personally seen this program in action and I STRONGLY encourage parents who suspect a residential program may be necessary to make the call to Oxbow. You will be in the best of hands.

What are considered “normal” teen behavior in regards to sex?

  • Sexually explicit conversations with peers
  • Obscenities and jokes within cultural norm
  • Sexual innuendo, flirting and courtship
  • Interest in erotica
  • Solitary masturbation
  • Hugging, kissing, holding hands
  • Foreplay, (petting, making out, fondling) and mutual masturbation **
  • Stable or Serial Monogamist intercourse: Stable monogamy is defined as a single sexual partner throughout adolescence. Serial monogamy indicates long-term (several months or years) involvement with a single partner which ends and is then followed by another. **
  • Is my teen's behavior risky?

    Risk level is determined by the specific efforts the young man makes to avoid any structure or deterrent put in place by parents or authorities to stop the behavior. For example, a young man may be looking at pornography on the family computer. Having caught their teen parents put a block on the computer. The young man “hacks” through the block to continue access. That is considered risk.
    Some teens are embarrassed when caught. They value their relationship with their parents and stop the behavior. If the young man continues behavior, his parents may take away the internet service. Some adolescents will go as far as being caught in a friend’s home accessing porn on their computer. Being in a friend’s home has increased the level of risk the teen is willing to take.
    The bottom line is that the young man is willing to take a higher risk to continue his behaviors – even after it has caused family and/or social consequences.


    Although some of these yellow flag or cautionary behaviors are not necessarily outside the range of normal behavior exhibited in teen peer groups, there should be a serious assessment made in order to rule out any red flag, and/or illegal behaviors. This is especially true when the behaviors are in the context of more than one issue that is listed below:
    • Sexual preoccupation/anxiety (interfering in daily functioning)
    • Pornographic interest (The type of pornography is a major factor here.
    • Bestiality, child pornography, or violent pornography are examples of serious behavioral warnings.)
    • Sexual intercourse/promiscuity (indiscriminate sexual contact with more than one partner during the same period of time.)
    • Sexually aggressive themes/obscenities
    • Sexual graffiti (especially chronic and impacting individuals)
    • Embarrassment of others with sexual themes
    • Violation of others’ body space
    • Pulling skirts up/pants down
    • Single occurrence of peeping, exposing with known peers
    • Mooning and obscene gestures
    • Masturbation to underwear (very common)


    Red flag behaviors need further specialized evaluation. It would be extremely rare to have a student involved in a single red flag behavior. Usually there will be additional yellow or red flag behaviors. Often, if more questions are asked, a pattern starts to appear. Red flag behaviors include:
    • Compulsive masturbation (especially chronic or public)
    • Degradation/humiliation of self or others with sexual themes
    • Attempting to expose others’ genitals
    • Chronic preoccupation with sexually aggressive pornography
    • Sexually explicit conversation with significantly younger children
    • Obscene phone calls, voyeurism, frottage, exhibitionism, sexual harassment
    • Touching genitals without permission (i.e. grabbing, goosing)
    • Sexually explicit threats (verbal or written)
    • Sexual contact with a significantly younger person. (Sibling, neighbor, relative)
    • Coerced sexual contact
    • Coerced penetration
    • Sexual contact with animals (bestiality)
    • Sexting (The use of cell phone or other electronic devise to send pictures of oneself or others.)