Exploring the Differences between Adolescents’ and Parents’ Ratings on Adolescents’ Smartphone Addiction (2018)

J Korean Med Sci. 2018 Dec 19;33(52):e347. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e347.

Youn H1, Lee SI2, Lee SH3, Kim JY4, Kim JH5, Park EJ6, Park JS7, Bhang SY8, Lee MS1, Lee YJ9, Choi SC10, Choi TY11, Lee AR2, Kim DJ12.



Smartphone addiction has recently been highlighted as a major health issue among adolescents. In this study, we assessed the degree of agreement between adolescents’ and parents’ ratings of adolescents’ smartphone addiction. Additionally, we evaluated the psychosocial factors associated with adolescents’ and parents’ ratings of adolescents’ smartphone addiction.


In total, 158 adolescents aged 12-19 years and their parents participated in this study. The adolescents completed the Smartphone Addiction Scale (SAS) and the Isolated Peer Relationship Inventory (IPRI). Their parents also completed the SAS (about their adolescents), SAS-Short Version (SAS-SV; about themselves), Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). We used the paired t-test, McNemar test, and Pearson’s correlation analyses.


Percentage of risk users was higher in parents’ ratings of adolescents’ smartphone addiction than ratings of adolescents themselves. There was disagreement between the SAS and SAS-parent report total scores and subscale scores on positive anticipation, withdrawal, and cyberspace-oriented relationship. SAS scores were positively associated with average minutes of weekday/holiday smartphone use and scores on the IPRI and father’s GAD-7 and PHQ-9 scores. Additionally, SAS-parent report scores showed positive associations with average minutes of weekday/holiday smartphone use and each parent’s SAS-SV, GAD-7, and PHQ-9 scores.


The results suggest that clinicians need to consider both adolescents’ and parents’ reports when assessing adolescents’ smartphone addiction, and be aware of the possibility of under- or overestimation. Our results cannot only be a reference in assessing adolescents’ smartphone addiction, but also provide inspiration for future studies.

KEYWORDS: Addictive Behavior; Adolescent; Depression; Parents; Smartphone

PMID: 30584419

PMCID: PMC6300655

DOI: 10.3346/jkms.2018.33.e347

Free PMC Article