Socioeconomic influence on adolescent problematic Internet use through school-related psychosocial factors and pattern of Internet use

Francisco Tsz Tsun LAI, Lok Yin Joyce KWAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current literature on adolescent problematic Internet use (PIU) does not provide an adequately comprehensive picture of the possible dynamics between different aspects of life in the shaping of PIU. Particularly, it is currently unknown how socioeconomic background could exert indirect influences. Adolescents from particular social strata who require assistance remain unidentified. Based on Problem Behavior Theory, a conceptual model with three layers, namely socioeconomic indicators, school-related psychosocial variables and pattern of Internet use, was formulated and tested with the survey data of 744 students from two Hong Kong secondary schools. Path analysis was conducted to yield an explanatory model of PIU. Findings suggested two different roles socioeconomic background plays. First, it potentially exerts influence as an antecedent through intermediary determinants, such as educational stress. Second, it potentially moderates the mechanism. In particular, it was found that parental education and family income significantly moderate the association between the amount of Internet use and severity of PIU. According to these findings, public health policies could be more focused on adolescents belonging to certain social strata who require additional assistance. Also, school policies and parenting strategies could be better informed with reference to the relevant psychosocial variables and pattern of Internet use. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-136
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume68
Early online dateNov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Citation

Lai, F. T. T., & Kwan, J. L. Y. (2017). Socioeconomic influence on adolescent problematic Internet use through school-related psychosocial factors and pattern of Internet use. Computers in Human Behavior, 68, 121-136.

Keywords

  • Socioeconomic background
  • School psychosocial environment
  • Pattern of Internet use
  • Problematic Internet use

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