Adolescents’ risky online behaviours: The influence of gender, religion, and parenting style (2013)

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Computers in Human Behavior

Volume 29, Issue 6, November 2013, Pages 2690–2696

Wilfred W.F. Lau, , Allan H.K. Yuen

Highlights

  • Adolescents are bombarded with massive information received through different social media.
  • The influence of gender, religion, and parenting style warrants further investigation.
  • Males were found to engage in more risky behaviours than females.
  • Christians were no different from non-Christians in terms of risky online behaviours.
  • None of the parenting styles were linked to a reduction in risky online behaviours.

Abstract

This study explored the influence of gender, religion, and parenting style on risky online behaviours in a sample of 825 Secondary 2 students in Hong Kong. Three risky online behaviours, namely, unauthorised acts (UNAC), internet stickiness (INST), and plagiarism (PLAG) were examined. It was found that males tended to be involved in more risky online behaviours than did females. Christians were no different from non-Christians in terms of risky online behaviours. Parenting style did not seem to be effective in reducing risky online behaviours. There was some evidence that gender moderated the relationship between risky online behaviours and parenting style. Taken together, gender, religion, and parenting style predicted risky online behaviours significantly. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Keywords Adolescents; Risky online behaviours; Gender; Religion; Parenting style

Corresponding author. Address: Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. Tel.: +852 22415449; fax: +852 25170075.