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A New Study Looks at How Junior High School Students’ Mobile Phone Addiction is Fueled by Parental Phubbing



The effects of parental phubbing on junior high school students are the subject of new research that was published in Frontiers in Psychology. According to the findings, cell phone addiction among junior high school students is linked to parental phubbing, or turning their back on their child to check their phone. The findings of this study shed light on the possible causes of pre-teens purchasing cell phones.

Addiction to cell phones among young people is a widespread issue. Children’s academic performance, social relationships, and sleeping patterns are all impacted when they develop a smartphone addiction. Their ability to control their impulses and delay gratification, two important skills for adult success, may be affected by cell phone addiction. Pre-teens or middle school students, specifically, are at a basic formative junction, and phone habit at this stage could become negative to their mental and social turn of events.

Zenhong Mi and his colleagues wanted to learn about some possible reasons why Chinese junior high school students are addicted to their phones. When a child becomes more independent and even rebellious, parent-child relationships frequently become strained. Peer relationships also take on a greater role at this age, sometimes surpassing parental bonds altogether. As a result, the research team wanted to find out if junior high school students’ likelihood of developing a cellphone addiction is influenced by the quality of their relationships with parents and peers.

The study focuses on parent-child cohesion and parental “phubbing” behaviors. Phubbing was defined by the study as any time parents neglect their children to focus on their phones. There were 1,200 junior high school students from China who took part. Data on parental phubbing, cell phone addiction, parent-child cohesion, and friendship quality were gathered through the completion of questionnaires by participants.

Students who reported more symptoms of cell phone addiction also reported higher rates of parental phubbing, according to data analysis. Additionally, this group reported lower levels of parent-child cohesion. Lastly, students who had poor friendships were more likely to become addicted to cell phones.

These results add to previous research showing that children who are neglected by their parents typically have more behavioral issues. In addition, the findings suggest that, in conjunction with peer support and a strong connection between parents and children, there might be a way to stop junior high school students from becoming addicted to cell phones.

The research team acknowledged that their work had some limitations. First, students’ self-reports were used to collect the data, so it’s possible that they didn’t accurately or truthfully describe how they felt or behaved. More objective research methods should be used to determine cause and effect. Second, all of the participants in the study were from China, making it difficult to draw generalizations.

Despite these limitations, this study demonstrates a link between mobile phone addiction and parental phubbing among Chinese junior high school students. According to the findings, reducing or preventing young people’s addiction to cell phones may be possible by strengthening social support and family relationships.

The study emphasizes how young people’s attitudes toward cell phones are influenced by parental behavior and family relationships. Parents, educators, and mental health professionals who work with young people can benefit from this information.

The study, “The relationship between parental phubbing and mobile phone addiction in junior high school students: A moderated mediation model,” was authored by Zenhong Mi, Wanjun Cao, Wenjing Diao, Meixiu Wu, and Xin Fang.


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