Parental Internet behaviour, stress and problematic internet use in adolescents: A parent-child dyad study

Lawrence Tak-Ming LAM, Man Yee Emmy WONG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Purpose: Based on the theoretical framework of Problem Behaviour and Stress reduction theories for Problematic Internet Use (PIU), this study aimed to investigate the relationship between parental PIU and the PIU among adolescents taking into consideration the stress levels of young people. Methods: This was a population-based parent-and-child dyad health survey utilising a random sampling technique. PIU for both parents and their children was measured by the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) designed by Young. The stress level of children was assessed using the Stress sub-scale of the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS). Data were analysed using logistic regression modelling techniques with adjustment for potential confounding factors with analysis on the modification effect of stress level on the relationship between parent-and-child PIU. Results: A total of 1098 parent-and-child dyads were recruited and responded to the survey providing usable information. For PIU, 263 (24.0%) students and 62 (5.7%) parents could be classified as moderate and severe users. About 14% (n=157) of students could be classified with moderate to severe stress. Regression analysis results suggested a significant interaction between parental PIU and children’s stress level on children PIU. Stratified regression analyse by stress level resulted in a significant parent-and-child PIU relationship in the low stress group (OR=3.18, 95%C.I.=1.65-6.14). On the other hand, the association between parent-and-child PIU in the high stress group became insignificant. Conclusions: Results suggested there was a significant parent-and-child PIU relationship, however, this relationship is differentially affected by the stress status of the child. These results have direct implications on the treatment and prevention of mental problems among young people.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


Regression Analysis
Parent-Child Relations
Health Surveys
Statistical Factor Analysis
Logistic Models


Lam, L. T. M., & Wong, E. M. Y. (2015, May). Parental Internet behaviour, stress and problematic internet use in adolescents: A parent-child dyad study. Paper presented at The Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2015 (ADDICTION 2015): Alcohol, other drugs, behavioural addictions: Prevention, treatment and recovery, Outrigger Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia.