Prevalence and risk factors of problematic Internet use: A cross-national comparison of Japanese and Chinese university students (2013)

Transcult Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;50(2):263-79. doi: 10.1177/1363461513488876.

Yang CY, Sato T, Yamawaki N, Miyata M.



Saga University.


The aim of the present study was to compare risk factors for problematic Internet use (PIU) among Japanese and Chinese university students. A sample of 267 Japanese and 236 Chinese first year university students responded to questionnaires on the severity of PIU, depression, self-image/image of others, and perceived parental child-rearing styles.

The results indicated that Japanese participants were more likely to demonstrate PIU than their Chinese counterparts. Compared to Chinese students, Japanese students reported more negative self-image, lower parental care, greater overcontrol, and higher depression scores. The PIU group had a higher depression score compared to the normal Internet use group. Compared with the non-PIU group, the PIU group consisted of more male and Japanese participants. Further, they tended to have more negative self-images, saw their mothers to be less caring, and perceived their mothers and fathers as more overcontrolling. PIU is strongly associated with depression, negative self-image, and parental relations. Finally, mediation analysis revealed that such national differences in PIU between Japanese and Chinese were clarified in depression and perceived mother’s care. This cross-national study indicated that depression and perceived mother’s care were both significant risk factors that were associated with the national difference in PIU between Japanese and Chinese participants.