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Keywords:

  • Internet addiction;
  • Depression;
  • Life events;
  • Adolescent

The aim of this study is to examine the mediating role of life events in the relation between Internet addiction and depression using an adolescent sample in China. A total of 3507 urban adolescent students were asked to complete the questionnaires including Young's Internet Addiction Scale, Adolescent Self-Rating Life Events Checklist, and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, Parent–Child Conflict Tactics Scales, and demographic characteristics. Path analyses demonstrated that life events fully mediated the relationship between Internet addiction and adolescent depression. Specificity for the mediating role of life events was demonstrated in comparison to alternative competing mediation models. The findings support our hypothesis that the effect of Internet addiction on adolescent depression is mediated by the life events. Further research is required to test the temporal relationship between Internet addiction and adolescent depression and explore mechanisms underlying the pathways leading to adolescent depression.