Parenting approaches, family functionality, and internet addiction among Hong Kong adolescents (2016)

BMC Pediatr. 2016 Aug 18;16:130. doi: 10.1186/s12887-016-0666-y.

Wu CS1, Wong HT2, Yu KF3, Fok KW3, Yeung SM3, Lam CH3, Liu KM3.



Internet addiction (IA) among adolescents has become a global health problem, and public awareness of it is increasing. Many IA risk factors relate to parents and the family environment. This study examined the relationship between IA and parenting approaches and family functionality.


A cross-sectional study was conducted with 2021 secondary students to identify the prevalence of IA and to explore the association between adolescent IA and familial variables, including parents’ marital status, family income, family conflict, family functionality, and parenting approaches.


The results revealed that 25.3 % of the adolescent respondents exhibited IA, and logistic regression positively predicted the IA of adolescents from divorced families, low-income families, families in which family conflict existed, and severely dysfunctional families. Interestingly, adolescents with restricted Internet use were almost 1.9 times more likely to have IA than those whose use was not restricted.


Internet addiction is common among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong, and family-based prevention strategies should be aligned with the risk factors of IA.


Adolescents; Chinese; Family functionality; Internet addiction; Parenting approaches

PMID: 27538688

DOI: 10.1186/s12887-016-0666-y