Relationships between Exposure to Online Pornography, Psychological Well-Being and Sexual Permissiveness among Hong Kong Chinese Adolescents: a Three-Wave Longitudinal Study
With the increased accessibility to the Internet, adolescents can access the online pornography intentionally and accidentally. The purposes of this study were (a) to examine the relationships of exposure to online pornography to subsequent psychological well-being (depression and life satisfaction) and sexual permissive attitudes and (b) to explore whether these relationships differ by the nature of exposure. A sample of 1401 early Chinese adolescents participated a three-wave longitudinal study. Results from the cross-lagged models suggested that the effects of online pornography differ by the nature of exposure. The present study sheds light on the dynamic relationships between exposure to online pornography, depression, life satisfaction and permissiveness sexual attitudes.
KeywordsOnline pornography Depression Life satisfaction Chinese adolescents Sexual permissive attitudes
The present study is funded by a grant (Grant no. 25401414) of the Early Career Scheme of the Research Grants Council of the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
No competing financial interests exist.
- Apaolaza, V., Hartmann, P., Medina, E., Barrutia, J. M., & Echebarria, C. (2013). The relationship between socializing on the Spanish online networking site Tuenti and teenagers’ subjective wellbeing: The roles of self-esteem and loneliness. Computers in Human Behavior, 29, 1282–1289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brown, J. D., & Cantor, J. (2000). An agenda for research on youth and the media. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27, 1–7.Google Scholar
- Doornwaard, S. M., Bickham, D. S., Rich, M., ter Bogt, T. F. M., & van den Eijnden, R. J. J. M. (2015). Adolescents’ use of sexually explicit internet material and their sexual attitudes and behavior: Parallel development and directional effects. Developmental Psychology, 51(10), 1476–1488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department. (2017). Information technology usage and penetration (Thematic Household Survey Report No. 62). Retrieved from http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/so120.jsp
- Internet World Stats. (2018). World internet users statistics and 2017 world population stats. Retrieved from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
- Kessler, R. C., & Greenberg, D. F. (1981). Linear panel analysis: Models of quantitative change. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Livingstone, S., & Bober, M. (2004). UK children go online: Surveying the experiences of young people and their parents. London: London School of Economics and Political Science.Google Scholar
- Ma, C. M. S. (2017). A latent profile analysis of internet use and its association with psychological well-being outcomes among Hong Kong Chinese early adolescents. Applied Research in Quality of Life. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-017-9555-2.
- Ma, C. M. S., Shek, D. T. L., & Lai, C. C. W. (2016). Individual differences in intentional and unintentional exposure to online pornography among Hong Kong Chinese adolescents. International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 16(4), 417–423.Google Scholar
- Ma, C. M. S., Lai, C. C. W. & Shek, D. T. L. (2018). Intentional and unintentional exposure to online pornography among early adolescents: Findings in a Chinese context. Paper presented at International conference on business and social science. Kyoto, Japan. Retrieved from http://icbass.org/site/mypage.aspx?pid=24&lang=en&sid=6066
- Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2006). Adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit online material and recreational attitudes toward sex. Communication Research, 56, 639–660.Google Scholar
- Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2008). Adolescents’ exposure to sexually explicit materials, sexual uncertainty, and attittudes toward uncommitted sexual exploration: Is there a link? Communication Research, 35, 579–601.Google Scholar
- Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2016). Adolescents and Pornography: A review of 20 years of research. The Journal of Sex Research, 53, 509–531.Google Scholar
- Primack, B. A., Shensa, A., Escobar-Viera, C. G., Barrett, E. L., Sidani, J. E., Colditz, J. B., & James, A. E. (2017). Use of multiple social media platforms and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A nationally-representative study among U.S. young adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Satorra, A., & Bentler, P. M. (1994). Corrections to test statistics and standard errors in covariance structure analysis. In A. von Eye & C. C. Clogg (Eds.), Latent variables analysis: Applications to development research (pp. 399–419). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Selig, J. P., & Little, T. D. (2012). Autoregressive and cross-lagged panel analysis for longitudinal data. In B. Laursen, T. D. Little, & N. A. Card (Eds.), Handbook of developmental research methods (pp. 265–278). New York: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
- Statista (2018). Countries with the highest number of internet users 2017. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/262966/number-of-internet-users-in-selected-countries/
- To, S. M., & Chu, F. (2009). An interpretive phenomenological analysis of the lived experiences of Chinese young females in the course of unintended pregnancy. International Journal of Adolescence Medicine and Health, 21(4), 531–543.Google Scholar
- World Internet Project (2015). The world internet project international report (6th Ed.). Center for the Digital Future, USC Annenberg. Retrieved from http://www.digitalcenter.org/world-internet-project