LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 Signs Your Teen Has a Phone Addiction.

95% of all teenagers have access to a smartphone, and most will agree with the notion that having a cell phone is a vital part of their life. Unfortunately, recent studies are showing, teenagers are more likely to show signs of depression, anxiety, and loneliness if they become addicted to their smartphones. Experts with say smartphone addiction can be defined as a fear of being without a connection to the internet or cellular service, and/or obsessive use.

In a new study from the University of Arizona, a research team focused on dependence, or a person’s psychological reliance on their smartphone, not general usage — and found that phone addiction is indeed a predictor for depressive symptoms. Experts say, it can be difficult to determine if their child is engaging in normal phone use or if they’ve developed a psychological dependence — and so here are 6 signs your teenager may have a phone addiction:

  • Always keeping their phone on and with them at all times
  • They give extreme reactions when separated from their device
  • Your teen has difficulty with emotional regulation
  • Your teen is showing changes in behavior, related to their phone
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Having irritability, restlessness, and the inability to focus in school when separated from their phone

Doctors say, while taking the smartphone away may be tempting, monitoring usage and teaching your kids a few coping strategies might be two better options. In addition, parents should also be mindful of the amount of time they spend on their own phones and be role models for moderation.