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Minerva Psichiatrica 2020 March;61(1):20-4

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.19.02039-9

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Smartphone and tablet addiction among children: a significant predictor of behavioral and physical alterations

Pietro FERRARA 1, 2 , Claudia INFANTINO 2, Giulia FRANCESCHINI 2, Roberto SACCO 3

1 Institute of Pediatrics, Catholic University Medical School, Rome, Italy; 2 Service of Pediatrics, Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital, Rome, Italy; 3 Service for Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry and Neurogenetics, Campus Bio-Medico University, Rome, Italy



BACKGROUND: Smartphones have been one of the success stories of the last decade. The aim of this study is to analyze the possible effects of smartphone and tablet use among children and the possible relationship between exposure to the screen and behavioral and physical alterations.
METHODS: One hundred children aged 4 to 17 years from Rome was recruited and consented to participate. All parents gave oral informed consent. Data were collected between October 1, 2018 through May 30, 2019. All participants were required to complete a structural questionnaire that comprised of three parts.
RESULTS: One hundred children who completed the questionnaire were recruited for the current study. The mean age of the participants was 9 (9±3). 55% of the children examined have their own smartphone and the mean age of their first smartphone is 8.5. 28% of them spent 1 hour per day using the smartphone; 53% 2 hours per day; 2% about 3 hours and 17% more than 4 hours per day. 39% of participants are addicted to smartphones or tablets according to their SAS-SV score positivity. Over 50% of participants reported habitual smartphone use before bedtime. 63% of them feels more aggressive; 65% believes smartphone isolates them; 61% feels that smartphone induce them lying.
CONCLUSIONS: The continuative and persistent smartphone utilization is today an acknowledged risk factor for children’s health, and this is the reason why indulgence in extended screens exposure is strongly not recommended among children.


KEY WORDS: Smartphone; Behavior, addictive; Child

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