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Background and aims

Internet addiction has been linked to ADHD-related symptoms. However, the direction of the relationship and its potential for reciprocal relations is not well understood. This study examined the potential reciprocal relations between the three components of ADHD and Internet addiction, as well as the moderating effects of gender on these relations.


Using a longitudinal design, we collected data of 865 Chinese adolescents across three waves (Mage = 13.78, SD = 1.56 in wave 1), with a time interval of 6 months.


Cross-lagged analyses revealed bidirectional associations between hyperactivity, inattention, impulsivity, and Internet addiction over time. Multi-group analyses did not yield any significant gender differences in these relationships.

Discussion and conclusions

These findings enhance our understanding of the complex link between ADHD components and Internet addiction and have implications for interventions aimed at reducing the prevalence of Internet addiction and ADHD.

Open access