Effect of parental neglect on smartphone addiction in adolescents in South Korea

Ju Yeon Kwak, Jae Yop Kim, Yoe Won Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the importance of the relationships with parents, peers, and teachers as a cause of adolescents’ smartphone addiction, and to examine the effect of parental neglect on smartphone addiction and the mediating effect of relational maladjustment in school, especially focusing on the relational maladjustment with peers and teachers. For this purpose, a survey was conducted of students from middle schools and high schools in four regions of South Korea. A total of 1170 middle-school students who reported using smartphone took part in this study. A multiple mediator model was analyzed using the bootstrapping mediation methods Parental neglect was significantly associated with adolescents’ smartphone addiction. Furthermore, in the relationship between parental neglect and smartphone addiction, parental neglect was not significantly associated with the relational maladjustment with peers, whereas the relational maladjustment with peers negatively influenced smartphone addiction. On the other hand, the relational maladjustment with teachers had a partial mediation effect between parental neglect and smartphone addiction. Based on the results of this study, some implications are suggested that include the need for (1) a customized program for adolescents who use smartphones addictively, (2) a family therapy program to strengthen family function, (3) an integrated case-management system to prevent the reoccurrence of parental neglect, (4) a program to improve relationships with teachers, and (5) expanding the leisure activity infrastructure to improve relationships with friends off-line.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the financial support of Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative of 2015 ( RMS2 2015-22-0117 ) and the Brain Korea 21 Plus (BK21plus) Program (Social Welfare Education with Glocalization, Creativity, and Convergence against New Social Risks) from the School of Social Welfare, Yonsei University .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of parental neglect on smartphone addiction in adolescents in South Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this