Addiction to teenage smartphones: is it the parents’ fault?


It is a shocking study. In 2019, researchers from King’s College London reviewed numerous works carried out since 2011 on smartphone use and its links to mental health. Their analysis shows that approximately 23% of young people under 20 have “problematic” use of their smartphone, in other words a form of addiction.

The example always comes from above

And the problems can sometimes come from the parents. In any case, this is what Raian Ali, professor at Bournemouth University, says in an article published on the media The Conversation. To see more clearly, the scientist interviewed 168 parents of teenagers living in Qatar.

Sifting through the questionnaires, the scientist came to a very clear conclusion: “ The more the parents were dependent, the more the addiction of their children was strong. Leading by example is a powerful form of parenting. The way parents use technology is no exception. »

On the strength of this observation, the author has pushed his analysis further and he offers valuable advice to parents for the digital education of their children. To fight against addiction, he believes it is necessary to create a link.

And the researcher explains: Internet addiction was increasing among teenagers who did not have a warm relationship with their parents. In contrast, family cohesion and low levels of conflict were linked to low Internet addiction scores in children. Planning enjoyable family activities allows young people to spend their time in meaningful ways and increases their sense of social support. »

Similarly, it is advisable to discuss with your children to better understand what creates this dependence at the end of constructive discussions. But dialogue is not enough, it is also necessary to let children exercise self-discipline, in particular by letting them set certain rules for limiting the use of smartphones.

Finally, and this is the final argument put forward by the professor, it is appropriate for parents to act on their own use of smartphones by limiting it. This behavior will be all the more valuable as an example for a teenager if you have discussed this subject with him beforehand.

In any case, the stakes are high for each of us. Scientists have indeed noted a correlation between excessive use of telephones and alcohol consumption, but we also know that excessive use of the Internet impacts the memory and level of concentration of users.

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