The impact of early parenting bonding on young adults’ Internet addiction, through the mediation effects of negative relating to others and sadness (2013)

Addict Behav. 2013 Dec 8. pii: S0306-4603(13)00422-X. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.12.002.

Kalaitzaki AE1, Birtchnell J2.


The aim of the present study is the investigation of the potential role of negative relating to others, perceived loneliness, sadness, and anxiety, as mediators of the association between early parental bonding and adult Internet Addiction (IA). The factorial structure of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the prevalence rates of it in a Greek sample will also be investigated. A total of 774 participants were recruited from a Technological Education Institute (mean age=20.2, SD=2.8) and from high school technical schools (mean age=19.9, SD=7.4).

The IAT was used to measure the degree of problematic Internet use behaviors; the Parental Bonding Instrument was used to assess one’s recalled parenting experiences during the first 16 years of life; the shortened Person’s Relating to Others Questionnaire was used to assess one’s negative (i.e. maladaptive) relating to others (NRO). Both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the three-factor structure of the IAT.

Only 1.0% of the sample was severely addicted to the Internet. The mediated effects of only the NRO and sadness were confirmed. Negative relating to others was found to fully mediate the effect of both the father’s optimal parenting and affectionless control on IA, whereas sadness was found to fully mediate the effect of the mother’s optimal parenting on IA. Overall, the results suggest that parenting style has an indirect impact on IA, through the mediating role of negative relating to others or sadness in later life. Both family-based and individual-based prevention and intervention efforts may reduce the incidence of IA.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Anxiety, IA, IAT, Internet Addiction Test, Internet addiction, Interpersonal relating, Loneliness, NRO, PBI, PROQ3, Parental Bonding Instrument, Parental rearing styles, Problematic Internet use, Structural Equation Modeling, negative relating to others, the shortened Person’s Relating to Others Questionnaire