Influence of personality and family on addictive behavior of youth and young adults

Event Type: Thematic Seminar

Event Theme: Evidence-based Practice

Speaker: Prof. Catherine So-kum Tang (Professor of Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, National University of Singapore)

Date: 14 December 2018 (Friday)

Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Venue: RLB 303, Research Complex, HKSYU

Language: English



1) Refreshment will be provided. 
2) Free Admission.
3) Registration is not compulsory but recommended for seat-reservation and news update.


Behavioral addiction can be defined as an excessive and pathological involvement in an activity that exposes the individual to mood-altering stimuli in order to produce pleasure or relieve pain. Although not formally recognized as a clinical mental health diagnosis, behavioral addiction incorporates the experience of “classic” addiction symptoms similar to alcohol and drug addiction, including neglecting personal/work/family life, preoccupation, mood alteration, withdrawal, inability to cut down, and relapse. However, an excessive engagement in these activities by itself does not necessarily equate with addiction. Compared to the general population, adolescents and young adults are the mostly likely to engage in behavioral addiction. There is a multitude of behaviors that claim to be addictive in the popular culture. This presentation will focus on addiction to Internet use, online social media use, online gaming, online gambling, online shopping, and unhealthy food intake among youth and young adults. In particular, available research will be reviewed and discussed regarding (1) the prevalence of the above forms of behavioral addiction, (2) the prevalence of negative health and mental health outcomes including depression, anxiety, and social isolation/withdrawal; (3) personality correlates such as social anxiety, impulsivity, introversion, and neuroticism, (3) the role of family dynamics in the development and maintenance of behavioral addiction, and (4) the role of extra-family factors including daily hassle, school experience, and peer influences.


About the Presenter

Professor Tang is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Science at the National University of Singapore (NUS). She is also the Deputy Director of the Center for Family and Population Research and Co-chair of the Institutional Review Board at NUS.

Professor Tang obtained her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of North Texas, USA and LLB at the University of London, UK. She has been a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of Graduate Studies in Clinical Psychology, Postgraduate Degree Programs in Trauma Psychology, Gender Research Program, and Gender Studies Program in the Chinese University of Hong Kong until 2007. 

Professor Tang was the past Chairperson of the Singapore Register of Psychologists and the past Chairperson of Division of Clinical Psychology and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Psychological Society. She was also a founding member of the Asian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the Asian Association of Cognitive and Behavior Therapy.

Professor Tang was the Associate Editor of the Asian Journal of Psychology, and has been a member of the Editorial Boards for academic journals such as International Perspective in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation; International Journal of Stress Management; Asia-Pacific Journal of Counselling, Sex Roles, and Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.

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