Survey: Kids dependent on cell phones

Yomiuri Shimbun

More than half of middle and high school students who own cell phones said they felt uncomfortable when they did not have the devices at hand, according to a survey by the National Police Agency released Monday.

The survey also found that nearly half of the respondents preferred not to turn off their cell phones even while sleeping and suggested that children have become dependent on such technology.

About 4,380 middle and high school students from six prefectures, including Osaka and Chiba, responded to the survey during September and December 2002. The number included children who were being held by police or charged in connection with such crimes as shoplifting or bicycle theft.

The NPA's juvenile problem research study committee, chaired by Chuo University Prof. Masami Yajima, conducted the survey, which found that 36.4 percent of respondents who were attending middle school and 90.2 percent of those attending high school had access to cell phones they could use at will.

Of the respondents, 54.1 percent of middle school students and 58.6 percent of high school students said they felt uncomfortable when they did not have their cell phones with them.

Copyright 2004 The Yomiuri Shimbun