Impact of COVID-19 on Adolescents’ Smartphone Addiction in South Korea

Jong Serl Chun, Hae Kook Lee, Hye Sook Jeon, Jinyung Kim, Serim Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The outbreak of COVID-19 impacted numerous people globally, but most notably affected adolescents negatively by contributing to the increase in their use of media and smartphones and therefore their susceptibility to smartphone addiction. Based on the social-ecological model, this study seeks to identify the individual-, family-, and school-level factors of smartphone addiction through two groups of users: a first group whose smartphone usage time increased after the outbreak of COVID-19, and a second group whose usage time did not. Based on the data collected from 360 Korean adolescents aged 15 to 18, results reveal that personal-level factors (i.e., gender, depressive symptoms, self-control, and cyberbullying victimization) are associated with smartphone addiction. For the group whose smartphone usage time increased after the outbreak, economic status, academic performance, and academic year were related to smartphone addiction. Based on these findings, the study makes specific guidelines and suggestions on addressing the smartphone addiction among Korean adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-280
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Work in Public Health
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Academy of Medicine of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • South Korea
  • adolescents
  • pandemic
  • smartphone addiction

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