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11-10-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 5/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 5/2020

Relationship Between Media Multitasking and Self-esteem Among Chinese Adolescents: Mediating Roles of Peer Influence and Family Functioning

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 5/2020
Jiutong Luo, Pui-sze Yeung, Hui Li
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Media multitasking has been found to have a negative relationship with young people’s psychological well-being. However, its relationship with self-esteem has only been examined among adults, and the mechanism underlying its association with adolescents’ well-being has been unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between media multitasking and self-esteem and explore the effects of peer influence and family functioning as potential mediators of this association.


A sample of 725 Chinese adolescents (55.6% girls; Mage = 14.71, SD = 1.41) completed a paper-based survey, which included questions on demographics, media multitasking, peer influence, family functioning, and self-esteem. Structural equation modeling and multi-group analyses were performed on the collected data.


Media multitasking (MM) showed a negative association with self-esteem (SE) (r = −0.17, p < 0.001); however, peer influence (PI) and family functioning (FF) entirely mediated this relationship, i.e., MM→FF→SE (β = −0.059, p < 0.05) and MM→PI→FF→SE (β = −0.025, p < 0.01). In addition, significant differences were found in specific mediation pathways among gender and age groups.


Overall, these findings have important implications for understanding the relationship between media multitasking and self-esteem among adolescents, as well as the age and gender differences.

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