Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)
Methods : Total 3,020 of Middle and high school students in Korea were randomly selected. To measure internet addiction and communication with parents, the internet addiction scale (K-scale) and communication with parents scale(by Barnes&Olson, 1982) were used respectively. Autoregressive Cross-Lagged modeling (ACLM) based on structural equation modeling was performed to test the longitudinal reciprocal relationship between the two constructs. This method is appropriate for studying the causal direction when two variables have a reciprocal (or nonrecursive) relationship. For ACLM, a computer program AMOS was used.
Results : This study aims to advance the research on internet addiction and communication with parents by addressing the reciprocal, longitudinal, and gender variation issues related to this topic. Specifically, our research questions are as follows: First, what is the causal directional relationship between internet addiction and communication with parents? How does this relationship change across time? Second, does the longitudinal relationship between internet addiction and communication with parents differ across gender? ACLM results showed that there was a significant influence of communication with parents (i.e., no or negative communication) on the subsequent internet addiction, rather than vice versa. The causal pattern was stable across time. According to multigroup ACLM analysis, no gender differences were found in the relationship between two constructs.
Implication : Internet addiction among adolescents were found to be significantly influenced by a pattern of communication with parents. The results suggest that intervention programs for internet addiction should focus on improving positive communication with parents or reducing factors producing negative communication.