Maybe you should blame your parents: Parental attachment, gender, and problematic Internet use

Jia, Ronnie and Jia, Heather H. (2016) Maybe you should blame your parents: Parental attachment, gender, and problematic Internet use. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5 (3). pp. 524-528. ISSN 2062-5871


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Background and aims Prior research has generally established parental attachment as a predictor of problematic Internet use (PIU). However, findings across studies are inconsistent as to which factor(s) of attachment style (i.e., attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance) contributes to PIU. Another gap in the literature is that as most studies highlight the importance of maternal (over paternal) attachment security in inhibiting PIU, little research has examined the possibility of a gender difference, where maternal and paternal attachment securities may exert different influences on males and females. Methods An anonymous survey was completed by 243 undergraduate students in a public university in the U.S. Midwest. In addition to demographic information, the survey contained measurement scales to assess PIU and parental attachment (both maternal and paternal). Results Survey data show that (a) attachment anxiety, but not attachment avoidance, is significantly related to PIU and (b) gender significantly moderates this relationship, where paternal attachment anxiety leads to PIU in female students while maternal attachment anxiety contributes to PIU in male students. Conclusions This study deepens our understanding in the relationship between family upbringing, particularly parental attachment, and PIU. More specifically, attachment anxiety is found to be a significant predictor of PIU, but attachment avoidance is not. Also, contributing to the research literature is the finding of a significant gender effect in this relationship.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BF Psychology / lélektan
Depositing User: László Sallai-Tóth
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2016 07:43
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2017 23:15

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