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      Is smartphone addiction really an addiction?

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          Abstract

          Aims

          In light of the rise in research on technological addictions and smartphone addiction in particular, the aim of this paper was to review the relevant literature on the topic of smartphone addiction and determine whether this disorder exists or if it does not adequately satisfy the criteria for addiction.

          Methods

          We reviewed quantitative and qualitative studies on smartphone addiction and analyzed their methods and conclusions to make a determination on the suitability of the diagnosis “addiction” to excessive and problematic smartphone use.

          Results

          Although the majority of research in the field declares that smartphones are addictive or takes the existence of smartphone addiction as granted, we did not find sufficient support from the addiction perspective to confirm the existence of smartphone addiction at this time. The behaviors observed in the research could be better labeled as problematic or maladaptive smartphone use and their consequences do not meet the severity levels of those caused by addiction.

          Discussion and conclusions

          Addiction is a disorder with severe effects on physical and psychological health. A behavior may have a similar presentation as addiction in terms of excessive use, impulse control problems, and negative consequences, but that does not mean that it should be considered an addiction. We propose moving away from the addiction framework when studying technological behaviors and using other terms such as “problematic use” to describe them. We recommend that problematic technology use is to be studied in its sociocultural context with an increased focus on its compensatory functions, motivations, and gratifications.

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          Most cited references 79

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          A ‘components’ model of addiction within a biopsychosocial framework

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            Psychological predictors of problem mobile phone use.

            Mobile phone use is banned or illegal under certain circumstances and in some jurisdictions. Nevertheless, some people still use their mobile phones despite recognized safety concerns, legislation, and informal bans. Drawing potential predictors from the addiction literature, this study sought to predict usage and, specifically, problematic mobile phone use from extraversion, self-esteem, neuroticism, gender, and age. To measure problem use, the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale was devised and validated as a reliable self-report instrument, against the Addiction Potential Scale and overall mobile phone usage levels. Problem use was a function of age, extraversion, and low self-esteem, but not neuroticism. As extraverts are more likely to take risks, and young drivers feature prominently in automobile accidents, this study supports community concerns about mobile phone use, and identifies groups that should be targeted in any intervention campaigns.
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              Development and Validation of a Smartphone Addiction Scale (SAS)

              Objective The aim of this study was to develop a self-diagnostic scale that could distinguish smartphone addicts based on the Korean self-diagnostic program for Internet addiction (K-scale) and the smartphone's own features. In addition, the reliability and validity of the smartphone addiction scale (SAS) was demonstrated. Methods A total of 197 participants were selected from Nov. 2011 to Jan. 2012 to accomplish a set of questionnaires, including SAS, K-scale, modified Kimberly Young Internet addiction test (Y-scale), visual analogue scale (VAS), and substance dependence and abuse diagnosis of DSM-IV. There were 64 males and 133 females, with ages ranging from 18 to 53 years (M = 26.06; SD = 5.96). Factor analysis, internal-consistency test, t-test, ANOVA, and correlation analysis were conducted to verify the reliability and validity of SAS. Results Based on the factor analysis results, the subscale “disturbance of reality testing” was removed, and six factors were left. The internal consistency and concurrent validity of SAS were verified (Cronbach's alpha = 0.967). SAS and its subscales were significantly correlated with K-scale and Y-scale. The VAS of each factor also showed a significant correlation with each subscale. In addition, differences were found in the job (p<0.05), education (p<0.05), and self-reported smartphone addiction scores (p<0.001) in SAS. Conclusions This study developed the first scale of the smartphone addiction aspect of the diagnostic manual. This scale was proven to be relatively reliable and valid.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                12 June 2018
                June 2018
                : 7
                : 2
                : 252-259
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ]The Department of Psychology, Ramon Llull University , Barcelona, Spain
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Tayana Panova; The Department of Psychology, Ramon Llull University, Passeig de Sant Gervasi, 47, 08022 Barcelona, Spain; E-mail: tayana.panova@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                10.1556/2006.7.2018.49
                6174603
                29895183
                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 71, Pages: 8
                Funding
                Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.
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