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Acta Psychologica Sinica
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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)
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Abstract  

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: lidongping@mail.ccnu.edu.cn   
Issue Date: 24 December 2016
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LI Dongping
ZHOU Yueyue
ZHAO Liyan
WANG Yanhui
SUN Wenqiang
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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
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01519     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2016/V48/I12/1519
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