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Revista Clínica de Medicina de Familia

On-line version ISSN 2386-8201Print version ISSN 1699-695X


APONTE RUEDA, Deyvar R.; CASTILLO CHAVEZ, Paola  and  GONZALEZ ESTRELLA, José E.. Prevalence of Internet addiction and its relation to family dysfunction in adolescents. Rev Clin Med Fam [online]. 2017, vol.10, n.3, pp.179-186. ISSN 2386-8201.


To determine the prevalence of Internet addiction and its relation to family factors such as family dysfunction in adolescents.


Descriptive cross-sectional study.


Educational units of the city of Loja, Ecuador.


390 adolescents between 15 and 19 years old were included in the sample, designated by stratified randomization of the educational units of the city of Loja.

Main measures:

Socio-demographic and family characterization questionnaire, questionnaire on stratification of the socioeconomic level, the family function test (FFSIL) and the Internet Addiction Test (IAT).


Adolescents with Internet addiction (IA) had more family dysfunction when they came from small families (p<0.002), when social networks were the most frequently used service (p <0.034) and when they belonged to the typical middle socioeconomic stratum (p <0.025). There was a greater Internet addiction among adolescents in the first year of high school (p <0.003); in those who use more than 17 hours of internet a week (p <0.008) and in adolescents with good living conditions (p <0.005). Within the dimensions of family functionality, a higher IA rate was observed in adolescents with low cohesion (p <0.028), low harmony (p <0.0001), low affectivity (p <0.023) and low communication (p<0.021).


The overall prevalence of Internet addiction in our country was higher than that found in other countries. However, severe addiction recorded similar values. In addition, adolescents with family dysfunction, from small families, from the typical middle socioeconomic stratum and who use more social networks, are at higher risk for internet addiction. The same happens for adolescents with low levels of cohesion, harmony, affectivity and communication.

Keywords : Behavior; Addictive; Internet; Family Relations; Adolescent.

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