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      Problematic smartphone use associated with greater alcohol consumption, mental health issues, poorer academic performance, and impulsivity

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          Abstract

          Background

          This study sought to examine the occurrence of the problematic use of smartphones in a university sample and associated physical and mental health correlates, including potential relationships with risky sexual practices.

          Methods

          A 156-item anonymous online survey was distributed via e-mail to a sample of 9,449 university students. In addition to problematic smartphone usage, current use of alcohol and drugs, psychological and physical status, and academic performance were assessed.

          Results

          A total of 31,425 participants were included in the analysis, of whom 20.1% reported problematic smartphone use. Problematic use of smartphones was associated with lower grade point averages and with alcohol use disorder symptoms. It was also significantly associated with impulsivity (Barratt scale and ADHD) and elevated occurrence of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Finally, those with current problems with smartphone use were significantly more sexually active.

          Conclusions

          Problematic use of smartphones is common and has public health importance due to these demonstrable associations with alcohol use, certain mental health diagnoses (especially ADHD, anxiety, depression, and PTSD), and worse scholastic performance. Clinicians should enquire about excessive smartphone use as it may be associated with a range of mental health issues. Research is needed to address longitudinal associations.

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          Most cited references 33

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          The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS): a short screening scale for use in the general population.

          A self-report screening scale of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the World Health Organization (WHO) Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) was developed in conjunction with revision of the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). The current report presents data on concordance of the ASRS and of a short-form ASRS screener with blind clinical diagnoses in a community sample. The ASRS includes 18 questions about frequency of recent DSM-IV Criterion A symptoms of adult ADHD. The ASRS screener consists of six out of these 18 questions that were selected based on stepwise logistic regression to optimize concordance with the clinical classification. ASRS responses were compared to blind clinical ratings of DSM-IV adult ADHD in a sample of 154 respondents who previously participated in the US National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), oversampling those who reported childhood ADHD and adult persistence. Each ASRS symptom measure was significantly related to the comparable clinical symptom rating, but varied substantially in concordance (Cohen's kappa in the range 0.16-0.81). Optimal scoring to predict clinical syndrome classifications was to sum unweighted dichotomous responses across all 18 ASRS questions. However, because of the wide variation in symptom-level concordance, the unweighted six-question ASRS screener outperformed the unweighted 18-question ASRS in sensitivity (68.7% v. 56.3%), specificity (99.5% v. 98.3%), total classification accuracy (97.9% v. 96.2%), and kappa (0.76 v. 0.58). Clinical calibration in larger samples might show that a weighted version of the 18-question ASRS outperforms the six-question ASRS screener. Until that time, however, the unweighted screener should be preferred to the full ASRS, both in community surveys and in clinical outreach and case-finding initiatives.
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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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              The relationship between addictive use of social media and video games and symptoms of psychiatric disorders: A large-scale cross-sectional study.

              Over the last decade, research into "addictive technological behaviors" has substantially increased. Research has also demonstrated strong associations between addictive use of technology and comorbid psychiatric disorders. In the present study, 23,533 adults (mean age 35.8 years, ranging from 16 to 88 years) participated in an online cross-sectional survey examining whether demographic variables, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and depression could explain variance in addictive use (i.e., compulsive and excessive use associated with negative outcomes) of two types of modern online technologies: social media and video games. Correlations between symptoms of addictive technology use and mental disorder symptoms were all positive and significant, including the weak interrelationship between the two addictive technological behaviors. Age appeared to be inversely related to the addictive use of these technologies. Being male was significantly associated with addictive use of video games, whereas being female was significantly associated with addictive use of social media. Being single was positively related to both addictive social networking and video gaming. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that demographic factors explained between 11 and 12% of the variance in addictive technology use. The mental health variables explained between 7 and 15% of the variance. The study significantly adds to our understanding of mental health symptoms and their role in addictive use of modern technology, and suggests that the concept of Internet use disorder (i.e., "Internet addiction") as a unified construct is not warranted.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                01 July 2019
                June 2019
                : 8
                : 2
                : 335-342
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago , Chicago, IL, USA
                [2 ]Boynton Health Service, University of Minnesota , Minneapolis, MI, USA
                [3 ]Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge , Cambridge, UK
                [4 ]Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) , Cambridge, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Prof. Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 3077, Chicago, IL 60637, USA; Phone: +1 773 834 1325; Fax: +1 773 834 6761; E-mail: jongrant@ 123456uchicago.edu
                Article
                10.1556/2006.8.2019.32
                6609450
                31257917
                © 2019 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: 4, Equations: 0, References: 37, Pages: 8
                Product
                Funding
                Funding sources: There was no funding for this study.
                Categories
                Full-Length Report

                impulsivity, smartphone, addiction

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