Parent and peer attachment as predictors of facebook addiction symptoms in different developmental stages (early adolescents and adolescents) (2019)

Addict Behav. 2019 May 11. pii: S0306-4603(19)30008-5. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.05.009.

Badenes-Ribera L1, Fabris MA2, Gastaldi FGM2, Prino LE3, Longobardi C4.


Facebook Addiction (FA) is a problem that concerns minors all over the world. The attachment bond with peers and parents has been proven to be a risk factor for the onset of FA. However, the family and peer group can have a different importance depending on the developmental period of the minor. This study examined the influence of peer and parental attachment on the symptoms of FA in early adolescents and adolescents to verify whether attachment to peers and parents predicts FA symptoms in both categories respectively. The sample was composed of 598 participants (142 early adolescents) between the ages of 11 and 17 years (M age = 14.82, SD = 1.52) recruited in the school setting. Multivariate multiple regressions were performed. For early adolescents the relationships with their parents influenced the levels of FA the most (such as withdrawal, conflict, and relapse), whereas peer relationships (such as, peer alienation) were the most relevant for adolescents. Our study provides support to the role of attachment to peers and parents as a risk factor for symptoms of FA. In line with developmental theories, parents and peers acquire a different weight in predicting the relationship between attachment and FA for early adolescents and adolescents respectively. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.

KEYWORDS: Adolescence; Facebook addiction; Parent attachment; Peer attachment; Problematic internet use

PMID: 31103243

DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.05.009