ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

中国科学院心理研究所

›› 2011, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (04): 410-419.

### Relationship between Adolescents’ Alienation and Pathological Internet Use: Testing the Moderating Effect of Family Functioning and Peer Acceptance

XU Fu-Zhen;ZHANG Wen-Xin

1. School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China
• Received:2010-09-16 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2011-04-30 Published:2011-04-30
• Contact: ZHANG Wen-Xin

Abstract: Internet as an important media has become an inevitable part of adolescents’ lives. Although Internet meet various needs of adolescents, such as expressing emotions and seeking sense of belonging, misuse of Internet could result in psychological, social and academic problems during adolescence (Young & Rodgers, 1998; Davis, 2001; Lei & Yang, 2007). In this study, we use the term of pathological Internet use (PIU) to refer to the degree of adolescents’ misuse of Internet and its negative outcomes.
Alienation is a negative emotional state, reflecting individual incompetence in dealing with others and establishing an effective bond with social groups. Existing researches demonstrated that adolescents with high alienation were inclined to use Internet excessively. Researches on the relationship between pathological Internet use and adolescents’ negative emotions reveal that positive factors of family and peer groups may be of important buffering effects (Thomas & Schare, 2000; Slater, 2003; Gross, 2004; Gao & Chen, 2006; Yeh et al., 2008). Thus it is reasonable to assume that family functioning and peer acceptance could have a moderating effect on the relationship between adolescents’ alienation and their pathological Internet use.
The present study was to investigate the descriptive characteristics of adolescents’ pathological Internet use and its relation to alienation, and to find whether or not healthy family functioning and peer acceptance could protect adolescents with high alienation from pathological Internet use. A total of 549 adolescents in the 7th (54 boys and 51 girls, Mage=12.84±0.48), 8th (54 boys and 51 girls, Mage=13.92±0.40), 9th (50 boys and 49 girls, Mage=15.06±0.50), 10th (81 boys and 43 girls, Mage=16.29±0.49) and 11th (62 boys and 54 girls, Mage=17.24± 0.43) grades of 5 high schools completed self-report questionnaires and Peer Nomination survey. The self-report questionnaires used in this study included Adolescent Pathological Internet Use Scale (APIUS), General Alienation Scale and Family Assessment Device.