Project leader



Anders Bergmark

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2017
End date: 31/12/2019
Funding: 4200000 SEK


Almost all Swedes are internet users and many are online most hours awake. In parallel to many positive aspects of internet, claims of emerging problems designated as “behavioral addictions”, often related to the online expansion, are put forward by some while dismissed by others as another sign of the medicalization of everyday life. 
The proposed study aims to establish a theoretical and empirical platform for analyses of the basic characteristics, prevalence, cultural framing and handling of internet-related behavioral addictions. Is internet addiction an emerging social problem? The formation, context and pertinence of the concept internet addiction is the main target for analysis but we also aim to provide a general picture of the contemporary online landscape.
A panel school survey (n=1000) focusing on online activities, in two waves (first and third year) of upper secondary school is the core, supplemented by several other data sources. We also direct a survey and interviews with treatment and support organizations and professionals. 
The notion of behavioral addictions will most likely play an increasingly important role in terms of the number of people that will be considered as suffering from them, diagnosed by professionals as well as identified by their own designation. Against the background of such a scenario it is important to know if and how behavioral addictions deviate from other types of addictions, as e.g. its unique manifestations and prognosis over time.