More than half of the UK's 10 year-olds have a mobile phone, according to a study for the The Carphone Warehouse and The London School of Economics.
The Mobile Life Youth Report found that 51 percent of 10 year-olds own a mobile phone, rising to 91 percent for 12 year-olds.
While only a third of adults in general feel that children should have a mobile phone by the age of 11, that figure rises to 54 per cent of those parents who were questioned.
The social aspect of mobile phones is felt keenly by teenagers; 78 percent claim that it gives them a better social life, and 42 percent of 15 to 17 year-old girls would feel 'unwanted' if a whole day went by when their mobile phone did not ring.
Two thirds of 15 to 17 year-olds would not let their parents look through their text messages, and a quarter of 11 to 17 year-olds had received a text inviting them on a date.
"The mobile phone has become the most important electronic device for young people in the UK today, and 91 per cent of children have a mobile phone by the time they go to secondary school at 12 years old," said Charles Dunstone, chief executive at The Carphone Warehouse.
"It provides them with a social network, a sense of security and access to entertainment. But most importantly it provides them with a sense of belonging to their peer group."
The study was carried out by polling organisation YouGov and questioned 1,250 11 to 17 year-olds who own a mobile phone.
Most 10 year-olds have a mobile phone
By Matt Chapman on Sep 21, 2006 9:58AM