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Unveiling the predictors and outcomes of TikTok addiction: the moderating role of parasocial relationships

Naeem Akhtar (Institute of Business and Management, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan)
Tahir Islam (Leeds Trinity University, Leeds, UK) (Faculty of Management, Prague University of Economics and Business, Prague, Czech Republic) (Faculty of Organization and Management, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 2 October 2023




Technology addiction is an increasingly severe problem. TikTok has become increasingly popular recently, and its addiction is also a major concern. This study aims to examine the antecedents and outcomes of TikTok addiction.


The authors collect 579 data from Chinese users using an online survey. The authors use structural equation modeling with partial least squares (PLS-SEM) to analyze data and test hypotheses.


The results illustrate that perceived enjoyment, social relationship, utilitarian need and social influence positively affect TikTok addiction. Both social anxiety and loneliness have positive effects on TikTok addiction. Moreover, parasocial relationships positively moderate the association between the antecedents of self-determination theory (SDT) (perceived enjoyment, social relationship, utilitarian needs, social influence, social anxiety and loneliness) and TikTok addiction. Meanwhile, TikTok addiction intensifies conflicts, including technology-family conflict, technology-person conflict and technology-work conflict. These conflicts reduce life satisfaction.

Practical implications

It offers practical implications for preventing and avoiding TikTok addiction to create a healthy environment.


This study is one of the few to provide a complete process of TikTok addiction. It systematically investigates the antecedents and outcomes of TikTok addiction.



Akhtar, N. and Islam, T. (2023), "Unveiling the predictors and outcomes of TikTok addiction: the moderating role of parasocial relationships", Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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