Parents' cellphone addiction may hinder child development – Swedish study
A new survey by YouGov revealed that one in five Swedish parents
have been asked by their children to put their mobile phones
down. The problem appears to be particularly prevalent in
Stockholm where 1 in 3 children complain about their parents’
dependence on mobile devices.
“Parents put down their kids and pick up their phones. It's
like this all the time," preschool teacher Anna Lindelöf told
Swedish newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet. "Kids have to play by
themselves while parents sit and stare at Facebook.”
The study included 521 parents from across Sweden, posing them
the question: Have your children ever complained about your
smartphone or tablet usage during activities or vacation?
The investigation’s findings have drawn the attention of medical professionals who believe the lack of attention could have detrimental effects on a child’s development.
Pediatrician Lars H. Gustafsson told the newspaper, Expressen,
that it was unusual to observe a phenomenon usually associated
with depressed parent in mentally healthy ones.
“I often see parents who don't answer when their children talk
to them,” Gustafsson said. “Smaller children need
interaction all the time, in everything they discover. The
absence of that interaction is very bad for children's
The Swedes are avid smartphone users, with 63 percent of adults
using smartphones, according to Google data. Moreover,
Internetbarometer, a Nordic statistics company, found that the
number of adults between the ages of 25 and 35 who own a
smartphone increased by 32 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Cases of child neglect because of internet addiction have become
more commonplace over the last few years. Perhaps the most
extreme case was recorded in South Korea in 2010 when a couple
caused their three-year-old daughter to starve to death because
of their addiction to online games.
Police authorities said the couple spent up to 12 hours every
night at internet cafes playing a game called “PRIUS” which
allows you to create your own virtual life.
The husband, 41, and wife, 25, also confessed to police that they
had fed rotten, powdered milk to their daughter and had often