South Korea's young students are roughly five times more likely to be addicted to the Internet, compared to Japanese youths, a study showed Monday, prompting calls for stronger countermeasures against the possible social repercussions in the densely wired nation.
The study, conducted by a team led by Choi Jeong-seok at Boramae Medical Center in Seoul, was based on the so-called K-Scale, a checklist used to diagnose and evaluate the rate of Internet addiction throughout the population of South Korea. The scale measures on how often and how long an individual uses the Internet.
The researchers said 0.5 percent of Japanese youths were at "high risk" of Internet addiction, compared to 2.2 percent of South Korean students.
Also, 2.2 percent of Japanese students were at "potential risk" of the addition, compared to 11 percent of local students.
The team attributed the difference to local youths being more exposed to the addiction as the country is one of the world's most wired nations with almost all homes having high-speed Internet connections.
"There is also a possibility that South Korean students are more inclined to stay home and less open to enjoying outdoor activities due to education-related pressure," Choi said.
The team's findings were published in the latest edition of the journal "Psychiatry Research." (Yonhap)