Adolescent Internet Abuse: A Study on the Role of Attachment to Parents and Peers in a Large Community Sample (2018)

Biomed Res Int. 2018 Mar 8;2018:5769250. doi: 10.1155/2018/5769250.

Ballarotto G1, Volpi B1, Marzilli E1, Tambelli R1.


Adolescents are the main users of new technologies and their main purpose of use is social interaction. Although new technologies are useful to teenagers, in addressing their developmental tasks, recent studies have shown that they may be an obstacle in their growth. Research shows that teenagers with Internet addiction experience lower quality in their relationships with parents and more individual difficulties. However, limited research is available on the role played by adolescents’ attachment to parents and peers, considering their psychological profiles. We evaluated in a large community sample of adolescents (N = 1105) the Internet use/abuse, the adolescents’ attachment to parents and peers, and their psychological profiles. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to verify the influence of parental and peer attachment on Internet use/abuse, considering the moderating effect of adolescents’ psychopathological risk. Results showed that adolescents’ attachment to parents had a significant effect on Internet use. Adolescents’ psychopathological risk had a moderating effect on the relationship between attachment to mothers and Internet use. Our study shows that further research is needed, taking into account both individual and family variables.

PMID: 29707572

PMCID: PMC5863292

DOI: 10.1155/2018/5769250

Free PMC Article