Sleeping with the smartphone

Kathrin Karsay, Desiree Schmuck, Anja Stevic, Jörg Matthes

This article seeks to explain the longitudinal associations of taking the smartphone to bed on adolescents’ daytime tiredness and physical well-being. We examined whether parents’: (a) active mediation; and (b) restrictive mediation determines whether children and adolescents have their phones within reach in bed or not. We used longitudinal data from a two-wave panel survey (NTime2 = 384) of early adolescents (10–14 years, MTime2 = 12.37, SD = 1.48, 46.4% girls) and one of their parents (=parent–child dyads) in Germany. A polling company collected the data in a four-month interval in 2018 and 2019, using a quota-sample procedure based on parents’ age and gender. Structural equation modelling revealed that active but not restrictive parental mediation at Time 1 (baseline) negatively predicted adolescents having their smartphones in bed at Time 2 (follow-up). We found that having a smartphone in bed increased adolescents’ daytime tiredness. Daytime tiredness was associated with decreased physical well-being over time. The findings indicate that parents should use active mediation to reduce their children’s use of their smartphones at nighttime to protect their physical well-being from tiredness.

Department of Communication
External organisation(s)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Behaviour & Information Technology
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508007 Communication science
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Social Sciences(all), Developmental and Educational Psychology, Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous), Human-Computer Interaction
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