A qualitative study of practitioners’ views on family involvement in treatment process of adolescent internet addiction

Camilla Kin Ming Lo, Lu Yu, Yuet Wing Cho, Ko Ling Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Despite emerging evidence of the effectiveness of a family-focused approach as an Internet addiction (IA) treatment modality for adolescents, little research has been done to explore family involvement in the treatment process from the clinician’s perspective. This study employed a qualitative design to examine practitioners’ views pertaining to the roles and challenges of family participation in IA intervention. In total, 10 practitioners working with adolescents with IA were interviewed. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the transcribed interviews. Three overreaching themes were synthesized: That family involvement in IA intervention is challenging yet important; shifting the focus from the adolescent to the relationship; and provision of individualized services and intervention to address the heterogeneous nature of cases. The findings show that family participation in IA treatment is successful in enhancing positive outcomes. The needs of adolescents with IA and family members are addressed through individual counseling and psychoeducation, respectively. Conjoint therapy sessions foster effective communication, improve family interactions and functioning, and restore relationships. However, caution regarding family dynamics is required when considering whether family involvement is appropriate. Practitioners need to establish ther-apeutic alliances and be flexible when working with family members in terms of the degree and arrangement of participation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number86
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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