International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 189–198 | Cite as

Supportive communication with parents moderates the negative effects of electronic media use on life satisfaction during adolescence

  • Meyran Boniel-NissimEmail author
  • Izabela Tabak
  • Joanna Mazur
  • Alberto Borraccino
  • Fiona Brooks
  • Rob Gommans
  • Winfried van der Sluijs
  • Emese Zsiros
  • Wendy Craig
  • Yossi Harel-Fisch
  • Emily Finne
Original Article



To examine the impact of electronic media (EM) use on teenagers’ life satisfaction (LS) and to assess the potential moderating effect of supportive communication with parents (SCP).


Data were drawn from the cross-national Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study (2009/2010) in Canada, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Israel, The Netherlands, Poland and Scotland. Sample size: 53,973 students aged 11–15 years.


More hours per day spent on the computer were associated with lower LS; more EM communication with friends with higher LS. This relationship became negative if EM use reached and exceeded a certain threshold. SCP moderated the effect of EM communication with friends, but not computer use for the total sample. SCP seems to be more important than computer use or EM communication with friends for LS and it seems to buffer negative effects of EM use.


Communication with parents seems to buffer the negative effects of EM use on LS during adolescence. Higher computer use was related to lower LS, but “optimal” frequency of EM communication with friends was country specific.


Life satisfaction Adolescents Computer use Supportive communication with parents Cross-national study 


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meyran Boniel-Nissim
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Izabela Tabak
    • 3
  • Joanna Mazur
    • 3
  • Alberto Borraccino
    • 4
  • Fiona Brooks
    • 5
  • Rob Gommans
    • 6
  • Winfried van der Sluijs
    • 7
  • Emese Zsiros
    • 8
  • Wendy Craig
    • 9
  • Yossi Harel-Fisch
    • 10
  • Emily Finne
    • 11
  1. 1.Department of Counseling and Human DevelopmentUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral SciencesKinneret CollegeKinneretIsrael
  3. 3.Institute of Mother and ChildWarsawPoland
  4. 4.Department of Public Health and PaediatricsUniversity of TorinoTurinItaly
  5. 5.CRIPACCUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUK
  6. 6.Centre for Child and Adolescent StudiesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  7. 7.University of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK
  8. 8.National Institute of Child HealthBudapestHungary
  9. 9.Psychology DepartmentQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  10. 10.Bar Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael
  11. 11.WHO Collaborating Centre for Child and Adolescent Health PromotionSchool of Public Health, Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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