The Relationship Between Parental Attachment and Mobile Phone Dependence Among Chinese Rural Adolescents: The Role of Alexithymia and Mindfulness (2019)

Front Psychol. 2019 Mar 20;10:598. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00598.

Li X1,2, Hao C1,2.


Mobile phone has experienced a significant increase in popularity among adolescents in recent years. Findings indicate dependence on mobile phone is related to poor parent-child relationship. However, previous research on mobile phone dependence (MPD) is scant and mainly focus on adult samples. In this view, the present study investigated the association between parental attachment and MPD as well as its influence mechanism, in sample of adolescents in rural China. Data were collected from three middle schools in rural areas of Jiangxi and Hubei Province (N = 693, 46.46% female, M age = 14.88, SD = 1.77). Participants completed the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA), the twenty-item Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS-20), the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) and the Mobile Phone Addiction Index Scale (MPAI). Among the results, parental attachment negatively predicted MPD and alexithymia were exerting partial mediation effect between parental attachment and MPD. Further, mindfulness acted as moderator of the relationship between alexithymia and MPD: The negative impact of alexithymia on MPD was weakened under the condition of high level of mindfulness. Knowledge of this mechanism could be useful for understanding adolescents’ MPD in terms of the interaction of multiple factors.

KEYWORDS:  adolescents; alexithymia; mindfulness; mobile phone dependence; parental attachment

PMID: 30949104

PMCID: PMC6435572

DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00598