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Table 5 Patterns of smartphone use and related adverse effects and parental behavior, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

From: Smartphone use and addiction during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: cohort study on 184 Italian children and adolescents

Items Range Before the pandemic Mean ± SD During the pandemic Mean ± SD P value
Most frequently used functions
 Telephone calls 1–5 3.33 ± 1.09 3.80 ± 1.16 < 0.001a
 Social network (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) 1–5 3.81 ± 1.27 4.07 ± 1.20 < 0.001a
 Game 1–5 2.57 ± 1.20 2.85 ± 1.43 0.001a
 Education 1–5 2.87 ± 1.26 4.13 ± 1.05 < 0.001a
 Online chat (Whatsapp, etc.) 1–5 3.32 ± 1.53 3.61 ± 1.63 < 0.001a
 Photos 1–5 3.29 ± 1.21 3.15 ± 1.24 0.1
 Videos 1–5 3.43 ± 1.20 3.70 ± 1.31 0.002a
 Music 1–5 3.79 ± 1.22 3.94 ± 1.25 0.043a
Aim of use
 Boredom 1–5 3.32 ± 1.10 3.99 ± 1.29 < 0.001a
 Habit 1–5 3.32 ± 1.12 3.65 ± 1.24 < 0.001a
 Pleasure 1–5 3.47 ± 1.10 3.59 ± 1.20 0.17
 Game 1–5 2.55 ± 1.28 2.82 ± 1.48 0.001a
 Communication 1–5 4.21 ± 0.93 4.53 ± 0.80 < 0.001a
 Learning 1–5 2.99 ± 1.09 4.16 ± 1.03 < 0.001a
 Stress relief 1–5 2.95 ± 1.33 3.34 ± 1.39 < 0.001a
 Adaptation to others 1–5 2.37 ± 1.23 2.52 ± 1.40 0.082
Adverse effects
 Superficial approach to learning 1–5 2.01 ± 1.04 2.63 ± 1.34 < 0.001a
 Distraction 1–5 2.80 ± 1.06 3.32 ± 1.33 < 0.001a
 Mood modification 1–5 2.23 ± 1.13 2.85 ± 1.44 < 0.001a
 Loss of interest 1–5 2.21 ± 1.10 2.80 ± 1.39 < 0.001a
 Isolation 1–5 1.94 ± 1.09 2.57 ± 1.48 < 0.001a
 Sleep disturbances 1–5 2.29 ± 1.29 2.88 ± 1.35 < 0.001a
 Ocular alterations 1–5 1.94 ± 1.07 2.78 ± 1.51 < 0.001a
 Musculoskeletal disorders 1–5 1.83 ± 1.07 2.74 ± 1.54 < 0.001a
Parental attitude
 Surveillance 1–5 2.61 ± 1.29 2.52 ± 1.36 0.178
 Restriction 1–5 2.31 ± 1.26 2.32 ± 1.33 0.898
 Punishment 1–5 2.08 ± 1.18 1.98 ± 1.29 0.0972
 Permission 1–5 3.17 ± 1.14 3.43 ± 1.23 < 0.001a
 Explanation 1–5 3.59 ± 1.22 3.70 ± 1.26 0.1
  1. SD standard deviation
  2. a Statistically significant difference comparing the COVID-19 pandemic with the pre-epidemic period