E Effects of Internet Use on Academic Achievement and Behavioral Adjustment among South Korean Adolescents: Mediating and Moderating Roles of Parental Factors

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


Ambika Krishnakumar


Adolescent development, Family relations, Internet use

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this study was to investigate the interrelationships among adolescent Internet use, parent-adolescent relationships, and academic/ behavioral adjustment in South Korean families. Despite the significant numbers of Korean adolescents who use the Internet (98.7% of Korean children between the ages of 6 and 19 years use the Internet) for education, social, and recreational purposes, little is known about how adolescent Internet use impacts family interactions and youth outcomes. Most research studies on this subject have been descriptive and have provided inconsistent findings. To examine the impact of adolescent Internet use on youth outcomes in Korea, six hundred and nine adolescents (10th and 11th graders) and their parents were recruited from five high schools in Seoul, Korea. Compared to the general population in Korea, parents in this study were more educated and from higher socio-economic status backgrounds. Findings indicated that Korean boys and girls differed in the ways that they used the Internet. Girls were more likely to use the Internet to watch online education classes and blog more frequently and longer than boys, whereas boys were more likely to use the Internet for playing Internet games than girls. Results indicated that Internet use for educational purposes was associated with adolescent academic achievement. Social and recreational-Internet use of the Internet was associated with lower academic achievement. The pathways did not vary for boys and girls. Parent-child relationships (closeness and conflict) were found to be vital to youth adjustment and played a significant role in the association between adolescent Internet use and academic and behavioral outcomes. Future research studies should investigate how Koreans cope with the influx of this rapidly developing technology and its impact of family relationships. Additionally, parenting programs should incorporate strategies about how the Internet can be used as an educational tool to benefit adolescents.


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