Teen Cell Phone Addiction
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teens addicted to their phones

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Children are learning how to use cell phones and receiving their own at younger ages than ever before. Since teenagers have grown up in an era where cell phone use has been ingrained in them at such a vulnerable age, they are very susceptible to developing an addiction to their smartphones and/or social media.

The human brain isn’t finished developing until around the age of 25 years old.6

If a child or teenager suffers from a cell phone addiction, it could have negative implications on brain development.

Research has revealed that there are a few adolescent personality traits associated with Internet addiction, which is closely related to smartphone addiction. These traits include:5

Effects of Teen Smartphone Addiction

Smartphone addiction is closely related to Internet addiction, which is considered an impulse-control addiction. Teens who are addicted to the Internet tend to experience the following:

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Additionally, addiction to a cell phone could lead to a number of harmful ramifications such as:

Teens and Social Media Use

Teenagers utilize many different forms of social media–such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter–which allow them to connect with their peers. While these applications provide the user with the ability to connect with others all around the world and access news and information, they also can lead to compulsive and problematic cell phone use, cyberbullying, sexting, and Facebook depression, a term coined by researchers to define the depression associated with excessive social media use.6

Research has revealed:7

Does My Teen Have a Cell Phone Addiction?

teen experiencing anxietyIf you suspect that your teenager is suffering from an addiction to his or her smartphone, there are some signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for in your teen:

If you are concerned about your adolescent’s cell phone addiction, talk to his or her pediatrician about treatment for a smartphone or social media addiction or call the number above to learn more about recovery.

Treatment for Teens

Although cell phone addiction is a relatively new behavioral addiction that isn’t formally in the

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) yet, there are a few different rehabilitation centers that specialize in treating teen smartphone addiction, such as:

If you suspect that your teen suffers from an addiction to his or her cellphone, it can be battled. Help your teen regain control of his or her life. Don’t hesitate to call to learn about different rehabilitation options available for him or her.


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  2. Camp Grounded – Summer Camp for Adults – Digital Detox. (2014). Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://campgrounded.org/
  3. Hong S-B, Zalesky A, Cocchi L, Fornito A, Choi E-J, Kim H-H, et al. (2013) Decreased Functional Brain Connectivity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57831. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057831
  4. Kim, H. (2013). Exercise rehabilitation for smartphone addiction. Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation, 9(6), 500-505. doi:10.12965/jer.130080
  5. O’keeffe, G., & Clarke-Pearson, K. (2011). The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families. Pediatrics, 127(4), 800-804.
  6. Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015. (2015, April 8). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/
  7. Teen Cell Phone Addiction Treatment – Paradigm Malibu. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from http://paradigmmalibu.com/teen-cell-phone-addiction-treatment/
  8. Teen Cell Phone Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from http://familybootcamp.org/cell-phone-addiction/
  9. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. (5th ed.). (2013). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.
  10. Kim, Y., Park, J., Kim, S., Jung, I., Lim, Y., & Kim, J. (2010). The effects of Internet addiction on the lifestyle and dietary behavior of Korean adolescents. Nutrition Research and Practice Nutr Res Pract, 4(1), 51-51. doi:10.4162/nrp.2010.4.1.51
  11. Pontes, H., Griffiths, M., & Patrao, I. (2014). Internet Addiction and Loneliness Among Children and Adolescents in the Education Setting: An Empirical Pilot Study. Aloma, 32(1), 91-98.
  12. Digital Eye Strain Report 2015. (2015). Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://www.thevisioncouncil.org/digital-eye-strain-report-2015
  13. Hansraj, K. (2014). Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head. (25), 277-279. Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25393825
  14. Dangers of Texting Whilst Driving. (2008). Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://www.trl.co.uk/case-studies/behaviour-dangers-of-texting-whilst-driving/
  15. Young Adult Development Project. (2008). Retrieved December 1, 2015, from http://hrweb.mit.edu/worklife/youngadult/brain.html
  16. Cheung, G (Aug 2007). “Stability of the harm avoidance personality trait in late-life depression”. Int Psychogeriatr 19(4): 778-80. doi:10.1017/s1041610207005194
  17. Han, D., Lee, Y., Yang, K., Kim, E., Lyoo, I., & Renshaw, P. (2007). Dopamine Genes and Reward Dependence in Adolescents with Excessive Internet Video Game Play. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 1(3), 133-138. doi:10.1097/ADM.0b013e31811f465f

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