Yi-Ping Hsieh, Hsiao-Lin Hwa, Joyce Yen Feng, April Chiung-Tao Shen, Jui-Ying Feng, Hsi-Sheng Wei & Soar Ching-Yu Huang (2014). The Association between Child Maltreatment and Internet Addiction: The Mediating effect of PTSD. CIFA 4th Regional Symposium—Visioning the Future of Families: Policy and Practice. Shanghai, China (2014/11/13-15).
The aims of this study were to examine the association between parental maltreatment (psychological neglect, physical neglect, and sexual violence) and child internet addiction, as well as the mediating effect of PTSD on the association between parental maltreatment and child internet addiction. Method: The randomly-selected sample included 707 fourth-grade children and their mothers in Taiwan. Respondents provided self-report information about psychological neglect, physical neglect, and sexual violence, PTSD symptoms, and internet addiction problems. Regression-based models were conducted to test whether PTSD symptoms mediate the relationships between parental maltreatment and child internet addiction. Results: Psychological neglect, physical neglect, and sexual violence were associated with child internet addiction. Children who experienced more psychological neglect, physical neglect, and sexual violence were more likely to have internet addiction problems. Moreover, the effects of parental maltreatment on child internet addiction were mediated through posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Findings supported the hypothesis that PTSD is one mechanism that carries risk to maltreated children. This study underscores the need for counselors to actively elicit and explore experiences of neglect and sexual violence in children and inquire about PTSD symptoms. Interventions for maltreated children interfere with PTSD could help reduce the risk of internet addiction problems.