The Internet is a global phenomenon and its influence has steadily increased in recent decades and has become an important part of contemporary life for all age groups (1), so that today it is an important tool for access to information, interaction and entertainment in modern societies. Although digital media offers many benefits such as fast communication, access to information, opportunities for learning and entertainment, and its use is not without potential risks (2). Cyberspace exposes teens and young people to many risky online behaviors, including loss of privacy, access to inappropriate content (such as pornography networks), and aggressive and hostile interaction with peers and adults (3). This inaccurate use of the Internet is often referred to as Internet addiction, which can be described as excessive, uncontrolled, and harmful use of the Internet (4). Internet addiction or behavioral dependence on the Internet whether it is a behavioral disorder, mental disorder or social problem, it is a chronic, recurrent, and widespread phenomenon accompanying serious physical, financial, familial, social and psychological harms. The American Psychiatric Association has defined Internet addiction as a pattern of using the Internet that can lead to dysfunction and unpleasant internal reactions within two months.
Seven criteria have been developed to diagnose this disorder (at least three criteria within two months) including: 1) tolerance 2) signs of withdrawal 3) the time spent on the Internet is more than the considered time, 4) continuing tendency to control behavior 5) spending considerable time on relevant issues 6) reduce social, Occupational and recreational activities due to use of the Internet 7) continuing use, despite awareness of the negative effects. (5). In fact, Internet addiction is an impulse control disorder and a maladaptive pattern of Internet use that can lead to significant clinical discomfort and disruption, causing psychological, educational, and occupational problems in one's life. This disorder in the age group of 15–19 years is more than other age groups (6, 7). In Iran, the rate of internet addiction has been reported from 10.8% (8) to 22.2% (9). The results of a meta-analysis in 2017 on 130531 samples show that 20% of Iranians (95% CI: 25–16%) have internet addiction (10). However, adolescent overuse of the Internet is associated with poor social and school performance, low self-esteem, and low life satisfaction (11). So, adolescents with low self-esteem spend more time on social networking sites than people with high self-esteem (12, 13). These teens are more likely to be exposed to potential dangers including cyberbullying, harassment and abuse (14). Adolescents who disclose their personal information to strangers or give their passwords to their friends are also more likely to be victims of cyberbullying (15). It should be acknowledged that cyberbullying is a growing phenomenon that seems to be a common feature of interpersonal relationships in adolescence (16). Cyberbullying is defined as "any conduct that occurs through electronic and digital media by individuals and groups that frequently transmit hostile and offensive messages to harm and discomfort others" (17) and is characterized by threatening to offend, Spreading false rumors, manipulating photos, and violating privacy by stealing passwords to access personal information, email, messages, and so on (18).
Given these concepts and definitions, the components of cyber-attack can be summarized in one paragraph: a violent relationship that is intentional and occurs in inappropriate situations and also repeats over time and is not a single event. The attack is mostly occurred through information and communication technology, so its beginning is not always obvious. This last feature distinguishes bullying through technological tools which its negative consequences are equally relevant (19–21). Adolescents who experience online bullying have greater psychological distress (22), depression and suicidal ideation (25 − 23), and a higher rate of dropout and delinquency (26) than those who are being victimized in the real world. Adolescents who experience online bullying have more psychological distress (22), depression and suicidal thoughts (25 − 23), and higher rate of dropout and delinquency (26) than those who are being victimized in the real world. Sanders et al. (2000) showed that continued use of the Internet was associated with depression and social isolation among adolescents (27). Depression is a psychological disorder that causes many changes in mood, viewpoint, thinking ability, activity level, perfectionism, and physical processes such as sleep, energy and appetite (28). Symptoms of depression include high levels of sadness, feeling of guilt, feeling of worthlessness, estrangement from others, loss of appetite, decreased libido, insomnia, loss of interest, and lack of enjoyment in daily activities (29). Also, Doty et al. (2017) in their comprehensive study found that all adolescents who were victims of bullying or cyberbullying had a low level of social interaction, especially with their parents (30). The notion that family factors play an important role in the onset and exacerbation of Internet addiction in adolescents has been the source of considerable empirical research. Gunuc and Dogan (2013) point out that Internet addiction is not a problem of one person but a problem that the family is responsible for, and this problem affects the family through its consequences (31). Most parents compare to their children are unskilled in the field of technology but they play a key role in managing their children and they are sure that their children are using the Internet positively. Parents with close relationships with their children were effective in reducing children's online entertainment, social interactions, and erotic motivations as well as Internet addiction (32). Most parents talk to their children about what they do online and sit near the child when they are on the Internet (33).
Therefore, as parents become more involved in parenting styles, adolescents spend less time communicating through social networking sites (SNSs), downloading audio / video programs and searching for fun online news (34). On the other hand, rather than worrying about the online dangers and tight control of children on Internet use, parents should find appropriate mediation strategies to increase children's positive use of the Internet. Parental mediation involves various forms of management and is generally classified into three levels: 1) Restrictive mediation, including parental strategies to control websites or software installed by the child, and the use of electronic devices that restrict the content of sites visited. 2) Evaluation mediation related to the creation of common rules including personal information of children that should not be shared, time spent on the Internet, and sites that may or may not be visited. Unlike the former, the latter involves the active participation of the adolescent in law-making (35). 3) Active parental involvement while the child is online involves counseling and helping to use the Internet, recommending sites, or engaging in online activities with children (36). There is considerable evidence that parental monitoring is negatively associated with adolescent Internet addiction (7, 37).
A survey on 12- to 17-year-olds adolescents also found that parental monitoring and restrictions reduce online risks in cyberspace (38). In view of the above, the importance of examining the Internet as a new and growing global issue and the role of its influencing factors on psychological, family and social dimensions is one of the most important research needs in any society; because it has some consequences such as: changing lifestyles to spend more time on the Internet, neglecting health, preventing major life activities, diminishing social relationships, ignoring family and friends, financial problems caused by Internet addicts. Therefore, the present study was done considering the increasing number of Internet users among adolescents, and concerns about internet addiction and its detrimental psychological and behavioral effects on adolescents, as well as determining and recognizing the predicting factors of internet addiction. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between parental mediation, mental health, high-risk behaviors, and cyberspace activities in Iranian adolescents.