It is the family context that matters : concurrent and predictive effects of aspects of parent-child interaction on video gaming-related problems

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Journal article

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Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

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Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers


Behavioral Observation, Gaming Addiction, Internet Gaming Disorder, Parent-Child Interaction, Violent Video Games


Studies have shown that children frequently experiencing poor parent-child interaction are prone to video gaming-related problems, but it is unclear which specific aspects of such an interaction play a predictive role in the problems. To extend previous research that relies primarily on the self-report method to assess parent-child interaction, we conducted a longitudinal, mixed-methods study. In a laboratory setting, three major aspects of interaction (i.e., affectivity, cohesiveness, and parental behavior) were observed in 241 parent-child dyads (Children: 43 percent female, age range = 8-15, Mage = 12.09, SDage = 1.41; Parents: 78 percent female, age range = 27-63, Mage = 44.44, SDage = 6.09). In addition, both parent and children participants completed questionnaires that measured children's symptoms of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) and exposure to violent video games at baseline (Time 1) and 12 months later (Time 2). The results revealed that at Time 1, positive affectivity and cohesiveness were inversely associated with child-report symptoms of IGD. Also, Time 1 coerciveness (i.e., control dimension of parental behavior) was positively associated with Time 1 child-report exposure to violent video games and Time 2 child-report symptoms of IGD, respectively. Apart from main effects, the results also showed that Time 1 negative affectivity moderated the protective effects of Time 1 positive affectivity on Time 1 parent-report and Time 2 child-report exposure to violent video games, respectively. Overall, this study identifies various key aspects of parent-child interaction that may serve as concurrent or temporal predictors of video gaming-related issues.



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Funding Information

This study was funded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council’s General Research Fund (17400714), and the University of Hong Kong’s Seed Fund for Incubating Group-based Collaborative Research Projects (102009405) and Seed Fund for Basic Research (201411159152) to Cecilia Cheng, and Hong Kong Research Grants Council’s General Research Fund (17406114) to Barbara Chuen-yee Lo.{17406114; 201411159152; 102009405; 17400714}

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Copyright © 2018 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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Recommended Citation

Li, A. Y.-l., Lo, B. C.-y., & Cheng, C. (2018). It is the family context that matters: Concurrent and predictive effects of aspects of parent-child interaction on video gaming-related problems. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 21(6), 374-380. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2017.0566