The bidirectional associations between the family factors and internet addiction among adolescents in a prospective investigation (2014)

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2014 May 19. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12204.

Ko CH1, Wang PW, Liu TL, Yen CF, Chen CS, Yen JY.



This study aimed at evaluating the effect of family factors on the occurrence of Internet addiction and determining whether Internet addiction could make any difference in the family function.


A total of 2293 adolescents in grade 7 participated in the study. We assessed their Internet addiction, family function, and family factors with a 1-year follow-up.


In the prospective investigation, inter-parental conflict predicted the incidence of internet addiction one year later in forward regression analysis, followed by not living with mother and allowance to use internet more than 2 hours per day by parents or caregiver (AIU>2H). The inter-parental conflict and AIU>2H also predicted the incidence in girls. Not cared for by parents and family APGAR score predicted the incidence of internet addiction among boys. The prospective investigation demonstrated that the incidence group had more decreased scores on family APGAR than did the non-addiction group in the one-year follow-up. This effect was significant only among girls.


Inter-parental conflict and inadequate regulation of unessential internet use predicted risk of internet addiction, particular among adolescent girls. Family intervention to prevent inter-parental conflict and promote family function and internet regulation were necessary to prevent internet addiction. Among adolescents with internet addiction, it is necessary to pay attention to deterioration of family function, particularly among girls.

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Internet addiction; adolescents; family function; inter-parental conflict; prospective study