SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS WITH SMART PHONE ADDICTION
Smart phones are among the most commonly used electronic devices in recent years. Smart phones are not only used for communication, but also offer applications that have content such as news, games and social media.
Young people who is connect to the internet with smart phones rapidly adapt to smart phone use and therefore, smart phones are regarded as a main source to access information. As smart phones are involved in the lives of individuals at this level, certain problems occur with them. Social problems are among the worst of them. Since multiple individuals are simultaneously communicate, especially via social media, individuals are move away from real social areas while sustaining their communication in virtual environments. It is an undeniable truth that this is a problem in social terms (Yusufoğlu, 2017). Additionally, today, developing technology has an important effect on social relationships of adolescents. It is seen that smart phones are used by adolescents to avoid alienation from their circle of friends. This also causes problems between adolescents and their families.
Individuals start to move away from family and spend more time with friends during adolescence. In adolescence, wherein social development is completed, love and trust by one’s circle of friends and family gives ground for success of developmental tasks (Ömeroğlu and Ulutaş, 2007).
Adolescence also causes changes in individuals by realizing social environments and increasing communication with individuals outside the family. Since technology has such a tangible effect on individuals, especially during adolescence, it needs to be thoroughly examined. Additionally, it is desired to analyze effects on the social life of a group that more rapidly knows smart phones. It is believed that the current prevalence of smart phone use and advancement of technology will cause similar studies in the future to be needed. Therefore, it is be stated that this study will contribute to similar future studies.
The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between smart phone addiction of middle school students and their social relationships.
This study is conducted based on relational survey model. This study is a descriptive study in survey model where the relationship between smart phone addiction of middle school students and social relationships are analyzed.
Universe and Sample
The universe of this study consisted of 4395 students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade in middle schools in Samsun city, Bafra province, during the 2016-2017 academic year. 5th grade students were not included in this study since the lower age limit for the Social Relationship Scale is 12. The sample of this study consisted of 441 students with 95% confidence interval and 5% error margin. The average age of the students between 12-14 years old was 12.5±0.9. While 50.3% of participating students were girls, 49.7% were boys. 34% were in 6th grade, 33.6% were in 7th grade and 32.4% were in 8th grade.
In this study, the Smart Phone Use Scale for Adolescents, Social Relationship Factors Scale and Personal Information Form were employed as data collection tools.
Based on the purpose of this study, necessary permissions were taken from Ondokuz Mayıs University, Social and Human Science Faculty Board before this study (Decree No. 2016-99). To collect data for this study, written permission was collected from Samsun, Bafra District National Education Directorate. After receiving necessary permissions for application, school directors were visited and necessary information were provided. The students’ were explained with the purpose of this study in a suitable time for students. Based on voluntary principles, students were asked to complete measurement tools.
Compliance of data to normal distribution was analyzed with ShapiroWilk. Mann Whitney U test and Kruskal Wallis test was used for analysis data that did not show normal distribution. Spearman correlation between variables was analyzed. Quantitative data were presented over median (min-max) and quantitative data were presented over frequency (percentage).
When smart phone use duration of participating students were analyzed, it was determined that the percentage of 0-1 hour daily use was 49.7% while the percentage of 1-3 hours was 35.8%. The percentage of 3-5 hours was 8.6% and the percentage of more than 5 hours was 5.9%. While the percentage of students who turn off smart phones while going to bed was 54.4%, the percentage of students who know how to use smart phones was 84.6%. While 31.3% of participating students expressed that they did not feel anything when their smart phone was not with them, 3.2% expressed they were angry, 6.1% expressed they were alarmed, 25.9% expressed that they did not care, 22.7% expressed that they felt the lack of smart phone and 10.9% expressed that they were comfortable.
It was found that there was a negative weak relationship between students’ smart phone addiction and family support scores (r=-.211), there was no a significant relationship between smart phone addiction and friend support scores (r=.016) and there was positive moderate level significant relationship between family support and friend support (r=.439).
According to Kruskal Wallis test statistic results that was conducted to analyse relationship between smart phone addiction and social relationships at class level, there was no a significant relationship between phone addiction median values (p=0.010). Median value for 6th graders was 21, median value for 7th graders was 24 and median grade for 8th graders was 25. There was a difference between median phone addiction value of 6th graders and median addiction value of 8th graders and addiction in 8th graders was higher than 6th graders. Family support and friend support median value showed no difference in terms of class level (p values were 0.169 and 0.955 respectively).
Discussion and Results
Based on the findings of this study, test results for relationship between middle school students smart phone addiction and social relationships, it was found that there was a negative weak relationship between smart phone addiction and family support. According to the obtained results, it can be stated that smart phone addict adolescents have no positive support from their families and children who don’t have the necessary support from family developed smart phone addiction. Study by Ayas and Horzum (2013) showed similar results. In that study it is analyzed internet addiction and family internet attitude of elementary school students, children of families with forgetful attitude have more internet addiction compared to children of families with more authoritarian and democratic attitude. This was explained such that as a result of lack of interest and failing to meet emotional needs of children by parents, children will try to meet these needs in different ways.
Another finding of this study was that smart phone addiction showed significant difference at class level, it was determined that while smart phone addiction was highest among 8th grade students, it was lowest among 6th grade students. This may be explained as 8th grade students are older in terms of age, they may access to smart phone devices in easier way and families thought it would be appropriate to buy phones to children in this age group. When literature was reviewed, study by Çetinkaya (2013) revealed similar results. It was determined that average internet addiction scores of elementary students differentiated between class levels. Internet addiction scores of 6th grade students were statistically significantly lower than 7th grade students while internet addiction scores of 7th grade students were statistically significantly higher than 8th grade students scores. Similarly, study by Ayas and Horzum (2013) statistically showed that there was a difference in internet addiction scores of students in regard to class levels. Tests results showed that internet addiction levels of 8th grade students were higher than internet addiction levels of students in 6th grade and 7th grade. It may be stated that results of this study are supported by the literature.
As a result, it was found that there was a negative weak relationship between students’ smart phone addiction and family support scores; there was no significant relationship between smart phone addiction and friend support scores and there was positive moderate level significant relationship between family support and friend support. Additionally, it was determined that there is a significant difference between classes and smart phone addiction and there was no significant difference between family support and friend support.
Keywords: Secondary school students, smatphone addiction, family support, friend support