Understanding adolescents' problematic Internet use from a social/cognitive and addiction research framework

Jeong Jin Yu*, Hyeonyee Kim, Ian Hay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


As Internet usage has become more prevalent among youth, so too has problematic Internet use. Despite the critical role of emotion regulation in the development of adolescents' behaviors and the role of parenting interactions on their children's behaviors, little research has examined these links with reference to problematic and addictive Internet use for adolescents. The main goal of this study was to examine these links, based on a sample of 525 high school students (368 males; M = 15.33 years, SD = 0.47) from a predominantly middle and lower-middle socioeconomic community in Seoul, Korea. Results from structural equation modeling revealed that students' difficulties in emotion regulation was a mediating variable between students' perceptions of their parents' parenting behaviors and the students' Internet use. The findings substantiate the importance of conceptualizing addiction from a social/cognitive theoretical framework and the notion that adolescence is the onset period for many addictive behaviors and so more proactive attention needs to be given to reducing these early negative behaviors. Based on these results, interventions designed to enhance adolescents' emotion regulatory abilities have the likelihood to mitigate problematic and even addictive Internet use among youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2682-2689
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Adolescents
  • Emotion regulation
  • Internet use
  • Parenting behavior
  • Problematic


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