Although parents experience growing concerns about their children's excessive internet use, little is known about the role parents can play to prevent their children from developing Compulsive Internet Use (CIU). The present study addresses associations between internet-specific parenting practices and CIU among adolescents, as well as the bidirectionality of these associations. Two studies were conducted: a cross-sectional study using a representative sample of 4,483 Dutch students and a longitudinal study using a self-selected sample of 510 Dutch adolescents. Results suggest that qualitatively good communication regarding internet use is a promising tool for parents to prevent their teenage children from developing CIU. Besides, parental reactions to excessive internet use and parental rules regarding the content of internet use may help prevent CIU. Strict rules about time of internet use, however, may promote compulsive tendencies. Finally, one opposite link was found whereby CIU predicted a decrease in frequency of parental communication regarding internet use.

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Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van den Eijnden, R., Spijkerman, R., Vermulst, A., van Rooij, T., & Engels, R. (2010). Compulsive internet use among adolescents: Bidirectional parent-child relationships. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38(1), 77–89. doi:10.1007/s10802-009-9347-8