A longitudinal study of daily hassles, internet expectancy, self-control, and problematic internet use in Chinese adolescents : A moderated mediation model

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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  • Minmin Gu


Original languageEnglish
Article number109571
Journal / PublicationPersonality and Individual Differences
Online published26 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


Using data collected over a 1-year period on a stratified random sample of 782 secondary schools students (mean age = 14.86 years) in Shanghai, China, this study examined a moderated mediation model to explain how perceived stress lead to problematic internet use. Results showed that perceived stress positively predicted problematic internet use in adolescents and this prospective relation was mediated by adolescents' internet expectancy. Further, the mediation effect was moderated by adolescents' self-control. In addition, the moderated mediation effect of self-control existed only for adolescent girls who reported higher self-control than boys. Overall, the finding suggested that problematic internet use maybe instigated by strong internet expectancy coupled with weak self-control, especially for adolescents living under stress. Therefore, enhancing adolescents' self-control could be the focus of PIU intervention and prevention programmes.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese adolescents, Internet expectancy, Moderated mediation, Perceived stress, Problematic internet use, Self-control