One in four children have ‘problematic smartphone use’

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A new study has found that one in four children and young people could have problematic smartphone use.

The research also suggested that the high phone usage may be associated with poorer mental health. These youngsters are exhibiting “problematic smartphone usage”, meaning they use the devices in way that is consistent with a behavioural addiction, scientists found.

It concludes that between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of children and young people use their phones in a dysfunctional way, meaning that on average 23 per cent were showing “Problematic Smartphone Usage

PSU as behaviour linked to smartphone use that has an element of addiction – such as anxiety when the phone is unavailable or causing neglect of other activities. The study also concludes that there are links between PSU and mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, poor sleep and depressed moods.

There is a need for public awareness around smartphone use in children and young people, and parents should be aware of how much time their children spend on their phones.

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