Parental smartphone addiction increases risks of adolescent smartphone addiction

By Lydia Gichuki

A study conducted by a public health team at China’s Lanzhou and Shenzhen Universities, has established that adolescents had a higher tendency toward smartphone addiction when their parents excessively used smartphones.

It tracked smartphone use among almost 10,000 teenagers between 10 and15-years and found a clear correlation between them and their parents.

It deduced that, when a mother and a father had been unable to place down the gadgets, cellphone habit was additionally proven to be a lot larger in youngsters.

Additionally, it concluded that the same families also reported worse relationships between parents and children.  This is because parental smartphone use can interfere with their interactions with their children as it reduces parent–child connections.

Research has shown that parents who are highly absorbed by media often takes longer to respond to their children or their behavior at all, and even reacted to their children in a negative voice thus missing opportunities to interact with their child.

Researchers claim that adults are guilty of phubbing – ignoring somebody in favour of their phone – and damaging their relationship with their children as a result.

This is because by nature, smartphones can provoke deeper absorption, they can further reduce parental conversations and engagement with children

Dr. Yanni Wang, writing in the Journal of Affective Disorders, said: “Overuse has become a social issue for adolescents, affecting personal lives and academic achievements. It can have debilitating effects on physical and mental health, causing fatigue, indigestion problems, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety and impulsiveness.”

Smartphone addiction by parents can be acquired their children as parents are important role models for their children. This is backed by social learning theory that indicates that children learn by observing the behavior of others.

Adolescent smartphone addiction (ASA) has fueled concerns worldwide regarding the negative health effects.

Smartphone addiction is defined as excessive smartphone use and an inability to regulate smartphone usage

Smartphone addiction is more prevalent in younger individuals than in adults because adolescents tend to have lower levels of self-control over their impulses to pursue pleasure5 and they tend to be more enthusiastic adopters of mobile devices.

Young individuals with smartphone addiction may develop maladaptive conditions such as anxiety, poor interpersonal adjustment and poor academic performance.

Photo credit; somagnews


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