Smartphone addiction bodes adverse consequences, affecting different populations, including medical students. Parental bonding in childhood had been associated with addiction and recovery in later life. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the associations between parental bonding and smartphone addiction among Chinese medical students.
Binary logistic regressions were used to investigate the associations between parental bonding with mothers and fathers, respectively, and smartphone addiction. Interaction terms of care and protection were included in the models.
A total of 517 medical students were included in the study. The prevalence of smartphone addiction was 48.16% (n = 249). The estimated effects of maternal and paternal parenting on smartphone addiction differed. Maternal protection was positively associated with smartphone addiction (OR, 1.046;95% CI, 1.005-1.087), and maternal care enhanced the estimated effect of protection on smartphone addiction. Paternal care was negatively associated with smartphone addiction (OR, 0.954;95% CI, 0.919-0.989).
Chinese medical students with overprotective mothers or with indifferent fathers tended to exhibit traits of smartphone addiction. Further studies on factors influencing the associations between parental bonding and smartphone addiction may pave the way for potential family-oriented interventions for smartphone addiction.