SPECIAL REPORT: Mobile Phone Separation Anxiety

Many families are facing the very real challenge of addressing mobile phone separation anxiety in their children. Banning mobile phones in schools has become a topic of intense debate worldwide, including in Australia. Many schools have implemented comprehensive bans on mobile phones during school hours. Critics argue against the effectiveness of such bans, but numerous studies provide evidence of their positive impacts.

One such study conducted in 2016 revealed that schools with mobile phone bans experienced a significant increase in student performance, with test scores improving by approximately 6.4% of a standard deviation. This improvement was equivalent to adding five additional days to the school year or an extra hour of learning per week. The positive effects were particularly notable among low-achieving students. Similar studies conducted in Spain and Norway have consistently supported these findings.

It is crucial to acknowledge this issue and engage in open discussions about the negative effects of phone addiction. Parents and caregivers can use various strategies to help minimise the impact of such bans whilst safeguarding their child’s mental health and wellbeing. Maintaining open communication with your school is essential. It is important to stay informed and collaborate with educators to develop effective strategies for supporting children during the adjustment period.

While addressing mobile phone separation anxiety is challenging, implementing such bans in schools allows for better focus on teaching and learning, minimising distractions and interruptions. The evidence of improved student performance and the need to address the negative impacts of excessive phone use emphasise the importance of parental involvement in promoting healthy phone habits and supporting children through this transition.




Poll Questions:

Responses to all poll questions remain anonymous and are only reported on an aggregated basis.

1. How does your child cope with not being able to access their mobile phone during school hours?
2. How does your child's academic performance seem to be affected by not having access to their mobile phone during school hours?
3. How does your child's overall mood and behavior appear when they are unable to use their mobile phone during school hours?
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