The influence of parental and peer attachment on Internet usage motives and addiction

Patrick Chin-Hooi Soh, John P. Charlton, Kok-Wai Chew


The impact of parental and peer attachment on four Internet usage motives and Internet addiction was compared using path modelling of survey data from 1,577 adolescent Malaysian school students. The model accounted for 31 percent of Internet addiction score variance. Lesser parental attachment was associated with greater Internet addiction risk. Psychological escape motives were more strongly related to Internet addiction than other motives, and had the largest mediating effect upon the parental attachment–addiction relationship. Peer attachment was unrelated to addiction risk, its main influence on Internet usage motives being encouragement of use for social interaction. It is concluded that dysfunctional parental attachment has a greater influence than peer attachment upon the likelihood of adolescents becoming addicted to Internet–related activities. It is also concluded that the need to relieve dysphoria resulting from poor adolescent–parent relationships may be a major reason for Internet addiction, and that parents’ fostering of strong bonds with their children should reduce addiction risk.


internet use; internet addiction; youths; parents; peers; Malaysia

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