Mental health, personality, and parental rearing styles of adolescents with Internet addiction disorder.

Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking 13(4):401 (2010) PMID 20712498

The objectives of this study were to compare the personality profiles of adolescent males with and without Internet addiction disorder (IAD), and to determine if IAD is associated with specific parental rearing behaviors. A total of 304 subjects (204 IAD positive and 100 IAD negative controls) completed three instruments: Symptom Checklist-90-revision (SCL-90-R), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised (EPQ-R), and Egna Minnen av Barndoms Uppfostran--'My Memories of Upbringing' (EMBU). SCL-90-R profiles of adolescents with IAD revealed comparatively higher mean scores for all of the nine domains, and significantly higher scores for obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, and paranoid ideation; the mean global symptom index of adolescents with IAD was also significantly higher by approximately 10%. EPQ profiles of adolescents with IAD showed that Internet-dependent individuals tended to exhibit a significantly lower degree of extraversion and a significantly higher degree of psychoticism when compared with the control group. EMBU profiles revealed that adolescents with IAD generally rated both maternal and paternal rearing practices as lacking in emotional warmth, being over-involved, rejecting, and punitive (mothers only). The results of this study confirm that IAD often occurs concurrently with mental symptoms and personality traits such as introversion and psychoticism. Adolescents with IAD consistently rated parental rearing behaviors as being over-intrusive, punitive, and lacking in responsiveness. These findings suggest that the influences of parenting style and family function are important factors in the development of Internet dependency.

DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2009.0222