Smartphone use is an addiction for a quarter of youngsters – study shows

The study, by researchers at King’s College London and published in BMC Psychiatry, analysed 41 studies published since 2011 on smartphone usage and mental health involving more than 40,000 under-20s.

It showed that on average 23% of youngsters were showing signs of “problematic smartphone usage” (PSU).

The researchers defined PSU as behaviour linked to smartphone use that has an element of addiction – such as anxiety when the phone is unavailable or causing neglect of other activities.

The study also found that there are links between PSU and mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, poor sleep and depressed moods.