Does Parental Control Work With Smartphone Addiction?: A Cross-Sectional Study of Children in South Korea (2018)

J Addict Nurs. 2018 Apr/Jun;29(2):128-138. doi: 10.1097/JAN.0000000000000222.

Lee EJ1, Ogbolu Y.


The purposes of this study were to (a) examine the relationship between personal characteristics (age, gender), psychological factors (depression), and physical factors (sleep time) on smartphone addiction in children and (b) determine whether parental control is associated with a lower incidence of smartphone addiction. Data were collected from children aged 10-12 years (N = 208) by a self-report questionnaire in two elementary schools and were analyzed using t test, one-way analysis of variance, correlation, and multiple linear regression. Most of the participants (73.3%) owned a smartphone, and the percentage of risky smartphone users was 12%. The multiple linear regression model explained 25.4% (adjusted R = .239) of the variance in the smartphone addiction score (SAS). Three variables were significantly associated with the SAS (age, depression, and parental control), and three variables were excluded (gender, geographic region, and parental control software). Teens, aged 10-12 years, with higher depression scores had higher SASs. The more parental control perceived by the student, the higher the SAS. There was no significant relationship between parental control software and smartphone addiction. This is one of the first studies to examine smartphone addiction in teens. Control-oriented managing by parents of children’s smartphone use is not very effective and may exacerbate smartphone addiction. Future research should identify additional strategies, beyond parental control software, that have the potential to prevent, reduce, and eliminate smartphone addiction.

PMID: 29864060

DOI: 10.1097/JAN.0000000000000222