Perceived autonomy-supportive parenting and internet addiction: respiratory sinus arrhythmia moderated the mediating effect of basic psychological need satisfaction

  • Danni Liu
  • Zhenhong WangEmail author
  • Xiaohui YangEmail author
  • Yuewen Zhang
  • Runzhu Zhang
  • Shanyan Lin


Based on the biopsychosocial model of Internet addiction, this study tested a moderated mediation model of familial (i.e., perceived autonomy-supportive parenting), psychological (i.e., need satisfaction) and biological (i.e., baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA) factors to investigate how they jointly impact Internet addiction in emerging adults; specifically, we explored whether RSA moderated the mediating effect of need satisfaction on the relation between perceived autonomy-supportive parenting and Internet addiction. A total of 146 Chinese undergraduates completed questionnaires on autonomy-supportive parenting, need satisfaction and Internet addiction. RSA data were also obtained. Path analysis was used to test the proposed mediation and moderated mediation models. The results indicated that while the impact of perceived autonomy-supportive parenting on Internet addiction was mediated by need satisfaction, RSA moderated this indirect effect. The indirect effect of autonomy-supportive parenting on Internet addiction via need satisfaction was much stronger in adults with low levels of RSA than in those with high levels of RSA. Our findings highlight the joint impact of biological, psychological, and social-environmental factors on Internet addiction and have important implications for the prevention of and intervention against emerging adults’ Internet addiction.


Internet addiction Autonomy-supportive parenting Basic psychological need satisfaction Baseline RSA Emerging adults 



The authors would like to thank all the participants for their participation in this research. Also, the first author would like to appreciate the encouragement from Mr. Jianqing Liu and Mrs. Yuping Liu as well as Professor Kai. S. Cortina from the Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.


This research was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China for Young Scholars in Education (CBA150155) awarded to Xiaohui Yang.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience, School of PsychologyShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anChina

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