Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
PIRA download icon_1.1View/Download Full Text
Title: Internet addiction and emotional and behavioral maladjustment in mainland Chinese adolescents : cross-lagged panel analyses
Authors: Zhu, X 
Shek, DTL 
Chu, CKM 
Issue Date: Nov-2021
Source: Frontiers in psychology, Nov. 2021, v. 12, 781036
Abstract: Adolescence is a developmental stage when adolescents are vulnerable to addictive behaviors, such as Internet addiction (IA), which refers to pathological use of the Internet. Although there are views proposing that the links between IA and adolescent problem behavior may be bidirectional in nature, few studies have examined the reciprocal relationships between IA and other maladjustment indicators, and even fewer studies have simultaneously employed both emotional and behavioral maladjustment indicators in a single study. To address the above research gaps, the present study investigated how IA is associated with both depression and delinquency among Chinese adolescents. Two waves of data were collected at two consecutive years, respectively, with 1year apart, from 3,010 students (Mean age=13.16, SD=0.81; 57.48% boys) in four junior high schools in mainland China. These students completed the same questionnaire containing measures of IA, depression, and delinquency at each wave. The proposed cross-lagged panel model fitted the data very well, and there were significant positive reciprocal effects between IA and depression as well as delinquency after controlling for background socio-demographic factors. Gender differences were also observed in multi-group comparisons. Specifically, IA showed a stronger longitudinal impact on delinquency among boys than among girls. While depression significantly predicted IA in 1year among boys, such a prediction was not significant among girls. These findings delineate the bidirectionality of the associations between IA and emotional and behavioral maladjustment indexed by depression and delinquency, respectively. The findings also suggest that researchers and practitioners have to take gender differences as well as different developmental indicators in understanding the bidirectional influences between IA and adolescent behavioral and emotional development.
Keywords: Delinquency
Internet addiction
Junior secondary school students
Longitudinal study
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Journal: Frontiers in psychology 
EISSN: 1664-1078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.781036
Rights: © 2021 Zhu, Shek and Chu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) ( The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
The following publication Zhu X, Shek DTL and Chu CKM (2021) Internet Addiction and Emotional and Behavioral Maladjustment in Mainland Chinese Adolescents: Cross-Lagged Panel Analyses. Front. Psychol. 12:781036 is available at
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Zhu_Internet_Addiction_Emotional.pdf395.07 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Open Access Information
Status open access
File Version Version of Record
View full-text via PolyU eLinks SFX Query
Show full item record

Page views

Last Week
Last month
Citations as of Sep 24, 2023


Citations as of Sep 24, 2023


Citations as of Sep 28, 2023


Citations as of Sep 28, 2023

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.