Parental mental health and Internet Addiction in adolescents (2014)

Addict Behav. 2014 Nov 1;42C:20-23. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.10.033.

Lam LT.



This study aimed to investigate the relationship between parental mental health, particularly depression, and Internet Addiction (IA) among adolescents.


This was a population-based parent-and-child dyad health survey utilising a random sampling technique. Adolescent IA was measured by the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) designed by Young. The mental health status of the parents was assessed using the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS). Data were analysed using logistic regression modelling techniques with adjustment for potential confounding factors.


A total of 1098 parent-and-child dyads were recruited and responded to the survey providing usable information. For IA, 263 (24.0%) students could be classified as at risk of moderate to severe IA. About 6% (n=68), 4% (n=43), and 8% (n=87) of parents were categorised to be at risk of moderate to severe depression, anxiety, and stress respectively. Regression analysis results suggested a significant association between parental depression at the level of moderate to severe and IA in adolescents after adjusting for potential confounding factors (OR=3.03, 95% C.I.=1.67-5.48). On the other hand, no associations between parental anxiety and stress and child’s IA were observed.


The result suggested that there was a significant relationship between parental mental health, particularly depression, and the IA status of their children. These results have direct implications on the treatment and prevention of Internet Addiction among young people.


Adolescents; Child; Dyad study; Internet Addiction; Parent; Parental mental health