Young adults’ internet addiction: Prediction by the interaction of parental marital conflict and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (2017)

Int J Psychophysiol. 2017 Aug 8. pii: S0167-8760(17)30287-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2017.08.002.

Zhang H1, Spinrad TL2, Eisenberg N3, Luo Y1, Wang Z4.


The aim of the current study was to address the potential moderating roles of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA; baseline and suppression) and participant sex in the relation between parents’ marital conflict and young adults’ internet addiction. Participants included 105 (65 men) Chinese young adults who reported on their internet addiction and their parents’ marital conflict. Marital conflict interacted with RSA suppression to predict internet addiction. Specifically, high RSA suppression was associated with low internet addiction, regardless of parental marital conflict; however, for participants with low RSA suppression, a positive relation between marital conflict and internet addiction was found. Internet addiction also was predicted by a significant three-way interaction among baseline RSA, marital conflict, and participant sex. Specifically, for men, marital conflict positively predicted internet addiction under conditions of low (but not high) baseline RSA. For women, marital conflict positively predicted internet addiction under conditions of high (but not low) baseline RSA. Findings highlight the importance of simultaneous consideration of physiological factors, in conjunction with family factors, in the prediction of young adults’ internet addiction.

KEYWORDS: Baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA); Internet addiction; Parental marital conflict; RSA suppression

PMID: 28800963

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2017.08.002