Parenting approaches, family functionality, and internet addiction among Hong Kong adolescents

Cynthia Sau Ting Wu*, Ho Ting Wong, Kin Fai Yu, Ka Wing Fok, Sheung Man Yeung, Cheuk Ho Lam, Ka Man Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Internet addiction (IA) among adolescents has become a global health problem, and public awareness of it is increasing. Many IA risk factors relate to parents and the family environment. This study examined the relationship between IA and parenting approaches and family functionality. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 2021 secondary students to identify the prevalence of IA and to explore the association between adolescent IA and familial variables, including parents' marital status, family income, family conflict, family functionality, and parenting approaches. Results: The results revealed that 25.3 % of the adolescent respondents exhibited IA, and logistic regression positively predicted the IA of adolescents from divorced families, low-income families, families in which family conflict existed, and severely dysfunctional families. Interestingly, adolescents with restricted Internet use were almost 1.9 times more likely to have IA than those whose use was not restricted. Conclusions: Internet addiction is common among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong, and family-based prevention strategies should be aligned with the risk factors of IA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 18
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Chinese
  • Family functionality
  • Internet addiction
  • Parenting approaches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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