Study Finds More Than Half of Teenagers Have No Rules for Using Tech at Home

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceX.

According to the latest figures from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (INE), seven out of every 10 young children and adolescents between 10 and 15 years old in the country have a mobile phone, creating a relentless environment in which young people need to learn how to regulate their use of these and other digital devices. In order to achieve this, their parents and older siblings are key factors in two aspects: as role models and for establishing boundaries and guidelines.

These are the conclusions of a study by the eHealth Center at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and the University of Girona (UdG), which also reveals a surprising result: 60% of adolescents are not subject to any rules in their home governing how they use tech devices, including mobile phones, televisions, computers, tablets, and video game devices.

According to the authors of the study, which was published in the Journal of Family Issues, this situation needs to be addressed.

“If we don’t set any kind of rules, young children and adolescents won’t regulate themselves because they’re not mature enough to do so. But if we impose some rules, their immediate response may be to break them because that’s part of being an adolescent.” That is the argument put forward by Merche Martin Perpiñá, psychologist, faculty member at the UOC and the UdG, and one of the authors of the study, which was carried out based on the data she compiled for her doctoral thesis.

The wide range of statistical results provided by this research includes the following data: 46.9% of the adolescents said there are between four and five mobile phones in their home; 34.7% have two or three video game devices; more than half have two or three computers at home, and two or three televisions. In addition, 38.3% acknowledge that they use their mobile phone continuously.

Likewise, the study links a large number of devices in the home to increased use. Accordingly, the UOC expert pointed out: “Although there are no magic solutions, we need to bear in mind that if we have a television in every room, we’re encouraging everyone to watch what they want, whenever they want. If we only have one television in a shared space, we’re going to spend more time together, and we’re going to have to negotiate what we watch.”

Source: ScienceX

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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