Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 477–487 | Cite as

Psychological Well-Being and Adolescents’ Internet Addiction: A School-Based Cross-Sectional Study in Hong Kong

  • Johnson Chun-Sing CheungEmail author
  • Kevin Hin-Wang Chan
  • Yuet-Wah Lui
  • Ming-Sum Tsui
  • Chitat Chan


This study examines the correlations of adolescents’ self-esteem, loneliness and depression with their internet use behaviors with a sample of 665 adolescents from seven secondary schools in Hong Kong. The results suggest that frequent online gaming is more strongly correlated to internet addiction and such correlation is higher than other predictors of internet addiction in online behaviors including social interactions or viewing of pornographic materials. Male adolescents tend to spend more time on online gaming than female counterparts. In terms of the effect of internet addiction on adolescents’ psychological well-being, self-esteem is negatively correlated with internet addiction, whereas depression and loneliness are positively correlated with internet addiction. Comparatively, depression had stronger correlation with internet addiction than loneliness or self-esteem. A standardized definition and assessment tool for identifying internet addiction appears to be an unmet need. Findings from this study provide insights for social workers and teachers on designing preventive programs for adolescents susceptible to internet addiction, as well as emotional disturbance arising from internet addiction.


Internet addiction Psychological well-being conditions Adolescent 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WorkThe Chinese University of Hong KongSha TinHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Applied Social SciencesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong
  3. 3.Caritas Institute of Higher EducationTseung Kwan OHong Kong

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