Journal List > J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc > v.53(5) > 1017695

Baek, Shin, and Shin: Emotional and Behavioral Problems Related to Smartphone Overuse in Elementary School Children



The objective of this study was to assess the characteristics of smartphone use in elementary school children and the emotional and behavioral problems associated with smartphone overuse and addiction.


Children referred to a community based pediatric mental health center were screened for smartphone addiction and related problematic behavior using the Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale and the Korean version of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).


1) Statistically significant differences in gender, usage time, ownership, and internalization symptoms (somatization, anxiety/depression, withdrawal) were observed between the smartphone excessive user group and the control group. 2) Variants showing the most significant correlation with smartphone addiction were usage time, internalization problems somatization, anxiety/depression, withdrawal, aggressive behaviors, and total behavior problems.


The results of this study indicated an association of addiction tendency in elementary school children with internalization symptoms. Close observation in the familial and academic setting may be important for children at high risk for smartphone addiction.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
Demographic characteristics

Data are presented as number of participants (percentile), but age is presented as mean (standard deviation)

Table 2
Comparison between excessive user group and control group in characteristics of smartphone use

Data are presented as number of participants (percentile), but age is presented as mean (standard deviation). *: p≤0.05

Table 3
Comparison between excessive user group and control group in Child Behavior Checklist Scores

Data are presented as mean±standard deviation. *: p≤0.05 (2-tailed)

Table 4
Pearson's correlation analysis between Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale score and covariates

*: Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed), **: Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)


The authors have no financial conflicts of interest.


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