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Smartphone addiction growing among children: poll

2018/02/08 14:13

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SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- Three out of 10 adolescent teens in South Korea and one-fifth of children are at risk of becoming addicted to their smartphones, a survey showed Thursday.

According to the survey conducted by the Ministry of Science and ICT, and the National Information Society Agency (NIA), 30.9 percent of the people aged between 13 and 29 fell into the potentially at-risk or high-risk addiction categories in 2017

The rate of addiction among the age group has steadily inched down from 31.6 percent in 2015 to 30.6 percent in 2016 and 30.3 percent last year, the ministry said.

However, 19.1 percent of children aged between 6 and 12 were addicted to smartphones last year, up sharply from 17.9 percent in 2016 and 12.4 percent in 2015, the survey showed.

Among adults, the portion of addiction-prone smartphone users aged between 20 and 59 came to 17.4 percent last year, up from 16.1 percent in 2016 and 13.5 percent in 2015.

Women had slightly more problems dealing with smartphone dependency, with 18.3 percent being addicted last year, compared with 18 percent of the male population, the poll showed.

To tackle the issue of smartphone addiction, the government has been making various efforts, such as providing education programs at schools and issuing counseling guidelines for high-risk students

The survey was conducted on 29,712 people between September and November last year. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.57 percentage point, with a 95 percent level of accuracy.