Please wait a minute...
Acta Psychologica Sinica
Cumulative ecological risk and adolescent internet addiction: The mediating role of basic psychological need satisfaction and positive outcome expectancy
LI Dongping1; ZHOU Yueyue1; ZHAO Liyan2; WANG Yanhui3; SUN Wenqiang4
(1 School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China) (2 School of Education, Chengdu College of Arts and Sciences, Chengdu 610401, China) (3 School of Educational Science, Jiaying University, Meizhou 514015, China) (4 College of Educational Science, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241000, China)
Download: PDF(666 KB)   Review File (1 KB) 
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks    

Adolescent Internet addiction has emerged as a significant social issue with the growing popularity of the Internet. Previous research has shown that ecological risk factors including family, school, and peer risk factors play important roles in adolescent Internet addiction. However, few studies have explored the accumulative impact of such risk factors on adolescent Internet addiction. In addition, little is known about the mediation mechanisms underlying the relationship between cumulative ecological risk factors and adolescent Internet addiction. Based on Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory and the cumulative risk (CR) model, the present study examined the extent to which CR is associated with adolescent Internet addiction. Specifically, we examined whether the effect of CR on Internet addiction is greater than that of individual risk factors, and whether the relation between CR and Internet addiction is linear or curvilinear. In addition, based on self-determination theory and cognitive-behavioral model, we examined whether basic psychological need satisfaction and positive outcome expectancy mediated the relationship between CR and adolescent Internet addition. Nine hundred and ninety-eight middle school students (mean age = 15.15 years, SD = 1.57) from Wuhan and Shanghai participated in this study. They filled out a series of questionnaires assessing demographic variables, ecological risk factors (including parental warmth, parental monitoring, parent-adolescent relationship, interparental conflict, school connectedness, teacher-student relationship, student-student relationship, deviant peer affiliation, and peer victimization), basic psychological need satisfaction, positive outcome expectancy, and Internet addiction. Structural equation modeling revealed that (a) CR predicted adolescent Internet addiction in a curvilinear manner whereby the most dramatic increase in Internet addiction was between zero and four risk factors, with a slight leveling off at greater levels of risk exposure; (b) CR was negatively and linearly associated with basic psychological need satisfaction, which in turn increased adolescent Internet addiction; (c) CR predicted positive outcome expectancy in a curvilinear manner (the most dramatic increase in positive outcome expectancy was between zero and three risk factors, with a slight leveling off at greater levels of risk exposure), which in turn increased adolescent Internet addiction; and (d) basic psychological need satisfaction and positive outcome expectancy were two parallel mediation paths linking CR and adolescent Internet addiction. Taken together, the present study is the first to demonstrate the detrimental impact of CR on adolescent Internet addiction, as well as the mediating roles of two motivational factors (basic psychological need satisfaction and positive outcome expectancy) underlying this relation. We tentatively propose a dual-process motivational model to explain how CR is related to adolescent Internet addiction. We also discuss the implications of our findings for the prevention and intervention of adolescent Internet addition.

Keywords cumulative ecological risk      Internet addiction      basic psychological need satisfaction      positive outcome expectancy      adolescents     
Corresponding Authors: LI Dongping, E-mail:   
Issue Date: 24 December 2016
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
LI Dongping
ZHOU Yueyue
ZHAO Liyan
WANG Yanhui
SUN Wenqiang
Cite this article:   
LI Dongping,ZHOU Yueyue,ZHAO Liyan, et al. Cumulative ecological risk and adolescent internet addiction: The mediating role of basic psychological need satisfaction and positive outcome expectancy[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01519
URL:     OR
[1] YANG Haibo; ZHAO Xin; WANG Yang; ZHANG Lei; WANG Ruimeng; ZHANG Yi; WANG Li. The emotional specificity of executive function defects of earthquake PTSD teenagers[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(5): 643-652.
[2] ZHOU Xiao; WU Xinchun; ZENG Min; TIAN Yuxin. The relationship between emotion regulation and PTSD/PTG among adolescents after the Ya’an earthquake: The moderating role of social support[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(8): 969-980.
[3] NIU Gengfeng; SUN Xiaojun; ZHOU Zongkui; KONG Fanchang; TIAN Yuan. The impact of social network site (Qzone) on adolescents’ depression: The serial mediation of upward social comparison and self-esteem[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(10): 1282-1291.
[4] CHEN Wu; LI Dongping; BAO Zhenzhou; YAN Yuwen; ZHOU Zongkui. The Impact of Parent-Child Attachment on Adolescent Problematic Internet Use: A Moderated Mediation Model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(5): 611-623.
[5] ZHANG Wei; ZHOU Bingping; ZANG Ling; MO Shuliang. The Attentional Capture of Internet Addicts under the Guidance of Visual Working Memory[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(10): 1223-1234.
[6] LU Qingyun;TAO Fangbiao;HOU Fangli;SUN Ying. Cortisol Reactivity to Stress and Decision–making in Adolescents: There is Gender Difference[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(5): 647-655.
[7] ZHANG Jintao; CHEN Chao; WANG Lingjiao; LIU Lu; LIU Feng-e; . The Relationship between Time Spent Online and Internet Addiction among Chinese College Freshmen: A Mediated Moderation Model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(10): 1521-1533.
[8] TIAN Lu-Mei,CHEN Guang-Hui,WANG Shu-Qiong,LIU Hai-Jiao,ZHANG Wen-Xin. Effects of Parental Support and Friendship Support on Loneliness and Depression During Early and Middle Adolescence[J]. , 2012, 44(7): 944-956.
[9] LI Dong-Ping,ZHANG Wei,LI Dan-Li,WANG Yan-Hui,ZHEN Shuang-Ju. The Effects of Parenting Styles and Temperament on Adolescent Aggression: Examining Unique, Differential, and Mediation Effects[J]. , 2012, 44(2): 211-225.
[10] XU Si-Hua. Internet Addicts’ Behavior Impulsivity: Evidence from the Iowa Gambling Task[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2012, 44(11): 1523-1534.
[11] CUI Li-Xia;SHI Guang-Yuan;ZHANG Yu-Jing;YU Yuan. A Study of the Integrated Cognitive Model of Depression for Adolescents and Its Gender Difference[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2012, 44(11): 1501-1514.
[12] FAN Fang,GENG Fu-Lei,ZHANG Lan,ZHU Qing. Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, Negative Life Events and Social Supports: A Longitudinal Study of Survival Adolescents following the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake[J]. , 2011, 43(12): 1398-1407.
[13] CHEN Jing,SUO Tao,YUAN Wen-Ping,FENG Ting-Yong. Outcome Prediction and Evaluation in Young Adolescents: A Study of Event-Related Potentials[J]. , 2011, 43(02): 152-163.
[14] MA Xiao-Hui,LEI Li. Adolescents’ Internet Morality and Deviant Behavior Online[J]. , 2010, 42(10): 988-997.
[15] CHEN Guang-Hui,ZHANG Wen-Xin,WANG Shu-Qiong. Agreement among Different Informants over Ratings of Adolescent Externalizing Behaviors[J]. , 2009, 41(02): 144-155.
Full text



Copyright © Acta Psychologica Sinica
Support by Beijing Magtech