Internet Addiction, Temperament, and the Moderator Role of Family Emotional Involvement

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between internet addiction, temperament, and family functioning focusing on the unique and common contribution that temperament and family functioning made to internet addiction. A total of 320 adolescents (164 boys and 156 girls), from 15 to 17 years (M = 16.06, SD = 0.59), completed measures of internet addiction, temperament, and family functioning. Data showed that salience, as the ability of internet to change negatively person’s life, was predicted positively by temperament linked to lack of control and by the perception of low level of familial emotional involvement. Results also revealed that family affective involvement played a moderating role in the relationship between temperamental lack of control and salience of internet, such that both at lower and higher levels of lack of control, internet salience tended to be lower when family affective involvement was high and to be higher when family affective involvement was low.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Agrawal, A., & Lynskey, M. T. (2008). Are there genetic influences on addiction: evidence from family, adoption, and twin studies. Addiction, 103, 1069–1081.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). DSM-IV-TR diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder, fourth edition, text revision. American Psychiatric Association.

  4. Bates, J. E. (1987). Temperament in infancy. In J. D. Osofsky (Ed.), Handbook of infant development (pp. 1101–1149). New York, NY: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Belsky, J. (1997). Variation in susceptibility to environmental influence: an evolutionary argument. Psychological Inquiry, 8, 182–186.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Block, J. J. (2008). Issues for DSM-V: internet addiction. American Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 306–307.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Caspi, A., Henry, B., McGee, R. O., Moffitt, T. E., & Silva, P. A. (1995). Temperamental origins of child and adolescent behavior problems: from age three to age fifteen. Child Development, 66, 55–68.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Cho, S. C., Kim, J. W., Kim, B. N., Lee, J. H., & Kim, E. H. (2008). Biogenetic temperament and character profiles and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in Korean adolescents with problematic Internet use. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 11, 735–737.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Di Maggio, R., & Zappulla, C. (2013). Mothering, fathering, and Italian adolescents’ problem behaviors and life satisfaction: dimensional and typological approach. Journal of Child and Family Studies. doi:10.1007/s10826-013-9721-6.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Epstein, N. B., Baldwin, L., & Bishop, D. S. (1983). The McMaster family assessment device. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 9, 171–180.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Evans, D. E., & Rothbart, M. K. (2007). Developing a model for adult temperament. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 868–888.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Frences, A. (2013). Saving Normal: An insider’s revolt against out-of-control psychiatric diagnosis, DSM-5, Big pharma, and the medicalization of ordinary life. William Morrow Publisher

  13. Guzzo, G., Lo Cascio, V., & Pace, U. (2013). The role of individual and relational characteristics on alcohol consumption among Italian adolescents: a discriminant function analysis. Child Indicators Research, 6, 605–618.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Ha, J. H., Kim, S. Y., Bae, S. C., Bae, S., Kim, H., Sim, M., et al. (2007). Depression and internet addiction in adolescents. Psychopathology, 40, 424–430.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Holmbeck, G. N. (2002). Post-hoc probing of significant moderational and mediational effects in studies of pediatric populations. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27, 87–96.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Laghi, F., Baiocco, R., Lonigro, A., Capacchione, G., & Baumgartner, E. (2012). Family functioning and binge drinking among Italian adolescents. Journal of Health Psychology, 17, 1132–1141.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Lee, M.-S., & Jung, I.-K. (2012). Comparisons of temperament and character between problematic internet users and problematic drug users in Korean adolescents. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 2, 228–234.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Lee, M. S., Hong, S. D., & Joung, Y. S. (2007). Characteristics of temperament and character properties in adolescents with internet addiction tendency. Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatry Association, 46, 65–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Lee, Y. S., Han, D. H., Yang, K. C., Daniels, M. A., Na, C., Kee, B. S., et al. (2008). Depression like characteristics of 5HTTLPR polymorphism and temperament in excessive internet users. Journal of Affective Disorders, 109, 165–169.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Lengua, L. J. (2006). Growth in temperament and parenting as predictors of adjustment during children’s transition to adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 42, 819–832.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Liddle, H. A. (2010). Treating adolescent substance abuse using multidimensional family therapy. In J. Weisz & A. Kazdin (Eds.), Evidence-based psychotherapies for children and adolescents (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Lo Cascio, V., Guzzo, G., Pace, F., & Pace, U. (2013). Anxiety and self-esteem as mediators of the relation between family communication and indecisiveness in adolescence. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 13, 135–149.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Moreno, M. A., Jelenchick, L., Cox, E., Young, E., & Christakis, D. A. (2011). Problematic internet use among US youth: a systematic review. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 165, 797–805.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Pace, U., & Zappulla, C. (2010). Relations between suicidal ideation, depression, and emotional autonomy from parents in adolescence. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19, 747–756.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Pace, U., & Zappulla, C. (2013). Detachment from parents, problem behaviors, and the moderating role of parental support among Italian adolescents. Journal of Family Issues, 34, 768–783.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Park, S. K., Kim, J. Y., & Cho, C. B. (2008). Prevalence of internet addiction and correlations with family factors among South Korean adolescents. Adolescence, 43, 895–909.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Pies, R. (2009). Should DSM-V designate “internet addiction” a mental disorder? Psychiatry, 6, 31–37.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Roncone, R., Rossi, L., Muiere, E., Matteucci, M., Giacomelli, R., Tonietti, G., et al. (1998). The Italian version of the family assessment device. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 33, 451–461.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Rothbart, M. K. (2006). Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire—Short Form (ATQ-SF). Retrieved Genuary 17, 2013, from http://www.bowdoin.edu/~sputnam/rothbart-temperamentquestionnaires.

  30. Rothbart, M. K., & Derryberry, D. (1981). Development of individual differences in temperament. In M. E. Lamb & A. L. Brown (Eds.), Advances in developmental psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 37–86). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Rothbart, M. K., & Rueda, M. R. (2005). The development of effortful control. In U. Mayr, E. Awh, & S. W. Keele (Eds.), Developing individuality in the human brain: A tribute to Michael I. Posner (pp. 167–188). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Rothbart, M. K., Ellis, L. K., Rueda, M. R., & Posner, M. I. (2003). Developing mechanisms of temperamental effortful control. Journal of Personality, 71, 1113–1143.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Ruggieri, S. (2009). Leadership in virtual teams: a comparison of transformational and transactional leaders. Social Behaviour and Personality, 37, 1017–1022.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Ruggieri, S., & Boca, S. (2013). At the roots of product placement: the mere exposure effect. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 9, 37–49.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Rutter, M. (2007). Psychopathological development across adolescence. Journal of Youth Adolescence, 36, 101–110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Sanson, A., Hemphill, S. A., & Smart, D. (2004). Connections between temperament and social development: a review. Social Development, 13, 142–170.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Schimmenti, A., & Caretti, V. (2010). Psychic retreats or psychic pits? Unbearable states of mind and technological addiction. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 27, 115–132.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Schimmenti, A., Guglielmucci, F., Barbasio, C., & Granieri, A. (2012). Attachment disorganization and dissociation in virtual worlds: a study on problematic Internet use among players of online role-playing games. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 9(2), 195–202.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Stroul, B. A., & Friedman, R. M. (1994). A system of care for children and youth with severe emotional disturbances. (Revised edition). Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Tichon, J. G., & Shapiro, M. (2003). The process of sharing social support in cyberspace. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 6, 161–170.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Van den Eijnden, R. J. J. M., Spijkerman, R., Vermulst, A., Van Rooij, T. J., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2010). Compulsive internet use among adolescents: bidirectional parentchild relationships. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38, 77–89.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Van der Vorst, H., Engels, R. C. M. E., Meeus, W., Dekovic, M., & Van Leeuwe, J. (2005). The role of alcohol-specific socialization in adolescents’ drinking behaviour. Addiction, 100, 1464–1476.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Van Rooij, A. J., & Van den Eijnden, R. J. (2007). Monitor internet en Jongeren 2006 en 2007: Ontwikkelingen in internetgebruik en de rol van opvoeding. Rotterdam: Reeks.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Widyanto, L., & McMurran, M. (2004). The psychometric properties of the Internet Addiction Test. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7, 443–450.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Wright, J. P., & Cullen, F. T. (2001). Parental efficacy and delinquent behavior: do control and support matter? Criminology, 39, 677–704.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Yap, M. B. H., Allen, N. B., & Sheeber, L. (2007). Using an emotion regulation framework to understand the role of temperament and family processes in risk for adolescent depressive disorders. Clinical Child and Family Psychology, 10, 180–196.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Yen, J. Y., Yen, C. F., Chen, C. C., Chen, S. H., & Ko, C. H. (2007). Family factors of internet addiction and substance use experience in Taiwanese adolescents. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10, 323–329.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Young, K. S. (2004). Internet addiction: a new clinical phenomenon and its consequences. American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 402–415.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Young, K. S. (2009). Internet addiction: diagnosis and treatment considerations. Journal Contemporany Psychotherapy, 39, 241–246.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ugo Pace.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pace, U., Zappulla, C., Guzzo, G. et al. Internet Addiction, Temperament, and the Moderator Role of Family Emotional Involvement. Int J Ment Health Addiction 12, 52–63 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-013-9468-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Temperament
  • Lack of control
  • Internet addiction
  • Family emotional involvement