Mobile phone use in parents, children and adolescents: Beliefs about risks and benefits

Gloria Besoli, Núria Palomas, Andrés Chamarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © 2018 Aloma. Mobile phone use has become ever more prevalent among minors, doubtless thanks to the support of their parents. While it is true that mobiles offer great opportunities for communication and socialising, the scientific literature and the media often focus on the risks that mobile use can pose to children and adolescents. With this in mind, this paper examines the uses, risks and benefits of mobile phone use, specifically with regard to minors, and it analyses parents' beliefs connected with this technology. It goes on to analyse the connection between problematic mobile use in minors and their degree of satisfaction with their lives. Two studies were conducted, one of 63 parents and the other of 411 primary and high school students. The results indicate that the most frequent uses of these devices are for communication, recreation and practical purposes. The results also suggest that these practical uses and the beneficial effects are currently most prominent. The findings also indicate that the time spent using the devices and the frequency of use are similar in adults and children, which suggests a gradual increase in use among adolescents. Problematic mobile phone use is more prevalent in high school than in primary school, with 15% at risk of problematic use. The study concludes that children are moving from primarily using the devices for leisure to greater communicative use, thanks in part to the expansion of social networks. This indicates that they are incorporating technology into their life habits and making positive use of it. This contrasts with parents' perceptions of their children's mobile use as being limited to play and leisure. Parents do not seem to re-alise the communicative potential of social networks on mobiles for children and adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-39
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Life satisfaction
  • Mobile phones
  • Problematic mobile phone use
  • Smartphones
  • Social networks


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