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Association Between Problematic Internet Use, Quality of Parent-Adolescents Relationship, Conflicts, and Mental Health Problems

Abstract

Increasingly widespread use of Internet resources has facilitated the emergence of problematic Internet use (PIU) in adolescence developmental process, where significant changes occur in social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral domains. This study examined the associations between the PIU, mental health problems, quality of parent-adolescent relationship, and adolescent-parent conflicts among adolescents. Participants were 318 adolescents (56.9% girls and 43.1% boys), whose ages ranged between 14 and 18 years, with a mean age of 15.79 (SD =0.87), enrolled in various high school programs in Ankara. Participants completed the Problematic Internet Use Scale-Adolescent, the Quality of the Parent-Adolescent Relationship, the Adolescent-Parent Conflict Scale, and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. Significant relationships were found between the PIU, mental health problems, quality of parent-adolescent relationship, and adolescent-parent conflicts. Correlation analysis indicated that PIU was positively related with adolescent-parent conflicts, negative quality relationship, and difficulties, while it was negatively related with disclosure, positive quality relationship, and prosocial behaviors. Adolescent-parent conflict was also positively related with negative quality relationship and negatively related with disclosure, positive quality relationship, and prosocial behaviors. Multiple regression analysis showed that excessive use and social benefit of Internet significantly predicted difficulties and adolescent-parent conflicts. Disclosure and positive quality relationship respectively predicted prosocial and adolescent-parent conflicts while negative quality relationship predicted difficulties and adolescent-parent conflict. These results elucidate our understanding of the association between the PIU, quality of parent-adolescent relationship, adolescent-parent conflict, and mental health problems. This would have important implications for prevention of the spreading of these problems.

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We thank all the participants who voluntarily contributed to this study.

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Correspondence to Ahmet Özaslan.

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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. The study received ethical approval from the Clinical Research Ethics Committee at the Gazi University Faculty of Medicine and obtained the necessary permissions from the Ankara National Education Directorate.

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Özaslan, A., Yıldırım, M., Güney, E. et al. Association Between Problematic Internet Use, Quality of Parent-Adolescents Relationship, Conflicts, and Mental Health Problems. Int J Ment Health Addiction 20, 2503–2519 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-021-00529-8

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Keywords

  • Problematic Internet use
  • Quality of parent-adolescents relationship
  • Adolescent-parent conflict
  • Mental health problems
  • Turkish adolescents