Longitudinal impacts of pubertal timing and weight status on adolescent internet use: Analysis from a cohort study of taiwanese youths

Meng Che Tsai, Carol Strong, Wan Ting Chen, Chih Ting Lee, Chung-Ying Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aim To investigate the longitudinal impacts of pubertal timing and weight status on Internet use in adolescents. Methods Three waves of data on a longitudinal cohort of 7 th grade students (N = 2430) were retrieved from the Taiwan Youth Project. Univariate and multivariate regression models were applied using crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) to examine the concomitant impacts of pubertal timing and weight status on adolescent Internet use. Results The dataset identified 210 (8.7%) students using the Internet for more than 20 hours/week, and 81 (3.3%) were viewing pornographic material online. Early maturing and thin-weight adolescents were at 35% and 46% increased risks of spending long hours on Internet use, respectively. While early puberty was associated with online pornography viewing among males (adjusted OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.04–3.28), early puberty was contrarily a protective factor against online gaming in females (adjusted OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.36–0.96). Conclusion Early puberty was found to be positively related to adolescent Internet use. Appropriate health education and guidance regarding Internet use should be provided to those with different developing needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0197860
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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