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Study shares findings on students' smartphone habits

By ZOU SHUO | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-07-16 21:42


Young students in China have relatively low levels of mobile phone addiction, but it still has significant negative impact on their sleep and memory, according to a recent study.

Around 80 percent of primary and secondary school students do not have mobile phone addiction, which can be attributed to strict restrictions on phone use at schools, the study said.

Parental intervention also plays a role, as most Chinese parents tend to regulate their children's phone use due to intense academic workload and competition.

The study, based on a survey of 2,298 students aged 6 to 18, found on average the students use mobile phones for half an hour to 2 hours every day and two to five times a week.

Male students were found to be more dependent on mobile phones than female students, but female students are more likely to use their phones before they sleep than male students.

The findings were published at China Youth Study, a monthly journal run by the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China.

It also found high school students are most addicted to mobile phones, while middle school students use phones most frequently.

The more students use mobile phones before they sleep, the longer it takes for them to fall asleep and the lower their sleep quality, which leads to reduced memory.

As schools and parents both take restrictive measures on students' use of mobile phones, most students only have access to their phones before they sleep.

The use of smart phones has replaced certain memory functions in human brains, and social media and entertainment functions take up time and energy, the study said.

As students are used to getting fragmented information online, their memory has also been impacted, which can cause mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

In 2021, the Ministry of Education banned all primary and secondary school students in China from bringing mobile phones to school. Parents need to submit a written application and students need to hand in their phones to teachers during school time if they do want to bring their devices.

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