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Digital devices add to exam time stress: Family Zone survey

A survey of 1000 teenagers and their parents shows that electronic devices are causing sleep and study problems for teenagers as they come up to important end of year exams.

The survey, commissioned by cyber safety platform, Family Zone, found teenagers are being robbed of valuable sleep time in the lead-up to exams due to a combination of stress and too much time on social media through their mobile phones and laptops. With the very devices that they are using to study being a constant distraction.

Key findings

  • 83% of parents think their children sleep less during exam periods. 78% of kids agree
  • Over 70% of parents and kids saying that their kids/they get between 2-4 hours less sleep each night during exam times
  • 61% of parents state the reason that their kids sleep less during exam periods is due to increased screen time for studying or recreation
  • Almost 90% of parents describe electronic devices as a distraction in their kids' everyday life, while 86% of children say they are
  • 40% of kids say electronic devices become more of a distraction during exam periods
  • 83% of parents say that their kids have electronic devices in their bedroom, while 70% of kids state they are more likely to have devices in their bedroom during exam periods
  • 62% of kids are concerned by the amount of screen time that occupies their time, while their parents are more worried at 72%
  • 75% of parents say their kids’ devices don't have parental controls installed, while 88% of kids say they don't.

Cyber expert, David Kobler, said “The survey confirms what every student and parent know, mobile devices are affecting study and sleep times, especially in the distractions social media presents 24 hours a day.

“Digital devices are critical for all students for study purposes these days, so they need to be within arms-reach, but this also means so is the distraction to use them for non-study purposes, it's a tough balancing act for students and parents."        

300 schools in Australia and the US are now using Family Zone to manage student internet access and filter material on students’ mobile devices.

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