A family environment, characterized by low expressiveness, low cohesion and intense conflicts is usually associated with problematic internet use (PIU) among adolescents. However, the mechanism that correlates family environment with PIU is still unclear. We propose that a negative family environment is associated with high adolescents' depression which, in turn, leads to Fear of Missing Out (FoMO); Finally, FoMO is associated with PIU, and time spent online. Eighty-five adolescents (aged 12–16) and their parents (total N = 170) participated in the study. Parents provided data on the family environment, and adolescents provided data on depression, FoMO and PIU. In addition, we monitored adolescents' smartphones for 14 days, gathering objective data to evaluate time and content online. Results supported out model, indicating that the effects of low family expressiveness and high conflicts on PIU and time spent online are mediated by depression and FoMO. Results suggest that positive family environment could decrease depressive symptoms and FoMO among adolescents, and hence, diminish PIU and time spent online.
- Family environment
- Fear of missing out
- Problematic internet use
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Human-Computer Interaction