The issue of social isolation and loneliness involving individuals during their developmental years has gathered increased attention from researchers, policymakers, and the public, raising concerns about the negative effects of this condition on youth’s well-being. In youngsters, the use of media devices, including social network platforms, video games, and interactive apps, continues to increase exponentially and the initial use of social network is about 10 years of age.1,2 This is likely owing to the use of using these tools to build a social identity and develop new, unconventional forms of personal expression. A new severe and prolonged form of social withdrawal, called hikikomori from a Japanese word indicating selfseclusion, was observed typically among adolescents and youth transitioning to adulthood, living in economically advanced countries. The objective of this editorial is to raise awareness on the burden and risks faced by adolescents developing this emerging form of social withdrawal. The hikikomori phenomenon is part of the group of new morbidities causing children and adolescents to limit their activity owing to a chronic health condition with attendant psychological problems. We further emphasize the importance of including new morbidities involving mental health and social participation in formal pediatric training, to enable new generations of pediatricians to identify and properly manage these disorders.

The Hikikomori Phenomenon of Social Withdrawal: An Emerging Condition Involving Youth's Mental Health and Social Participation

Ida Giardino
Conceptualization
;
Massimo Pettoello-Mantovani
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2020-01-01

Abstract

The issue of social isolation and loneliness involving individuals during their developmental years has gathered increased attention from researchers, policymakers, and the public, raising concerns about the negative effects of this condition on youth’s well-being. In youngsters, the use of media devices, including social network platforms, video games, and interactive apps, continues to increase exponentially and the initial use of social network is about 10 years of age.1,2 This is likely owing to the use of using these tools to build a social identity and develop new, unconventional forms of personal expression. A new severe and prolonged form of social withdrawal, called hikikomori from a Japanese word indicating selfseclusion, was observed typically among adolescents and youth transitioning to adulthood, living in economically advanced countries. The objective of this editorial is to raise awareness on the burden and risks faced by adolescents developing this emerging form of social withdrawal. The hikikomori phenomenon is part of the group of new morbidities causing children and adolescents to limit their activity owing to a chronic health condition with attendant psychological problems. We further emphasize the importance of including new morbidities involving mental health and social participation in formal pediatric training, to enable new generations of pediatricians to identify and properly manage these disorders.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/388721
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