Parent-Adolescent Relationship, Escape Motive and Problematic Internet Use Among University Students: Gender in Context

Keywords: internet use, parenting, escape motive, higher education


Objective. Present study attempted to assess problematic internet use among university students as affected
by parent-adolescent relationships and escape motive; such that, escape motive mediates the relationship
between parent-adolescent relationship and problematic internet use.


Method. Data were collected through purposive sampling technique from students (N = 585, M = 21.62
years) in public and private universities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan.


Results. It was conceptualized that secure parent-adolescent relationship negatively associates with escape
motive and problematic internet use, whereas escape motive positively associates with problematic internet
use. Gender was added to the model as a covariate. Mediation analysis demonstrated that escape motive
significantly mediated association between secure parent-adolescent relationship and problematic internet use
irrespective of an individual’s gender (p < .001). Secure parent-adolescent relationship was negatively
associated with low escape motive and problematic internet use.


Implications. Study presented empirical evidence for parents’ role in shaping children’s behaviours.
Secure parent-adolescent relationship help reduce development of escape motive which is associated to
problematic internet use among university students. It could help develop an intervention for addressing
escape motive and hence reducing the problematic internet use.


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