Cell-Phone Addiction: A Review (2016)

Front Psychiatry. 2016 Oct 24;7:175. eCollection 2016.

De-Sola Gutiérrez J1, Rodríguez de Fonseca F2, Rubio G3.


We present a review of the studies that have been published about addiction to cell phones. We analyze the concept of cell-phone addiction as well as its prevalence, study methodologies, psychological features, and associated psychiatric comorbidities. Research in this field has generally evolved from a global view of the cell phone as a device to its analysis via applications and contents. The diversity of criteria and methodological approaches that have been used is notable, as is a certain lack of conceptual delimitation that has resulted in a broad spread of prevalent data. There is a consensus about the existence of cell-phone addiction, but the delimitation and criteria used by various researchers vary. Cell-phone addiction shows a distinct user profile that differentiates it from Internet addiction. Without evidence pointing to the influence of cultural level and socioeconomic status, the pattern of abuse is greatest among young people, primarily females. Intercultural and geographical differences have not been sufficiently studied. The problematic use of cell phones has been associated with personality variables, such as extraversion, neuroticism, self-esteem, impulsivity, self-identity, and self-image. Similarly, sleep disturbance, anxiety, stress, and, to a lesser extent, depression, which are also associated with Internet abuse, have been associated with problematic cell-phone use. In addition, the present review reveals the coexistence relationship between problematic cell-phone use and substance use such as tobacco and alcohol.

KEYWORDS:  addiction; behavioral addiction; cell-phone addiction; dependence; internet addiction

PMID: 27822187

PMCID: PMC5076301

DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00175


Since the appearance of the cell phone, the anomalous use of this device has called into question whether the abuse of its use could lead to addiction. This problem is identical to the one regarding the existence of behavioral addictions as opposed to substance addictions (). The existence of cell-phone addiction, as opposed to it being the manifestation of an impulsivity disorder, has been questioned without necessarily considering the concept of addiction (, ). To date, the DSM-5 has only recognized compulsive gambling as a behavioral addiction, considering the rest of these types of abuse as impulse disorders, and the clinical world has not done much more than proclaim that many of them are true addictions that affect patients’ lives.

Prior to the arrival of the cell phone, abundant research had been conducted on behavioral addictions to videogames (), exercise (), online sex (), food (), shopping (, ), work (), and the Internet (). Indeed, for several authors, a large number of behaviors are potentially addictive () if there is a concurrence of negative consequences and physical and psychological reinforcements in a specific context ().

Before reviewing the characteristics of cell-phone addiction, it is important to highlight the uniqueness of behavioral addiction in relation to drug or substance addiction. In substance addiction, with the exception of alcohol that shows a more dimensional course profile, there is a clear moment at which changes in and interferences with daily life can be observed. In the case of behavior, it is difficult to determine whether problems result from problematic behavior, personality traits, or psychiatric comorbidities. However, the existence of an underlying biological sub-layer, which can manifest itself through pharmacological procedures, is indubitable. Thus, administering specific dopamine agonists can activate previously non-existent behaviors, such as compulsive gambling, compulsive eating, hypersexuality, and compulsive shopping ().

An increasing number of studies have focused on the most important body of behavioral addictions today – the Internet, videogames, and cell phones. Historically, Internet use could present as either a global addiction or interaction with addictive contents and activities. In this sense, Young () studied five different forms of addictive behavior on the Internet: (1) the computer itself, (2) the search for information, (3) interaction compulsions, including contact with the web through online games, shopping, etc., (4) cybersexuality, and (5) cybercontacts. Subsequently, Young solely studied games, online sexual contacts, and text messaging ().

If the Internet was initially the technological addiction par excellence, the cell phone soon emerged as a source of potentially addictive behavior, particularly since the arrival of smartphone devices (, ), along with the evolution from a global approach to a progressive differentiation of addictions by contents and concrete applications. Whether the problem is the cell phone itself or its contents and applications () is a topic of current debate, similar to previous debates with respect to the Internet (, ).

From this perspective, the cell phone offers activities that can lead to problematic use (, ). There is evidence that the smartphone, with its breadth of applications and uses, tends to induce greater abuse than regular cell phones ().

In general, Brown () and Griffiths (, ) note that an addiction entails abuse without control, alterations in mood, tolerance, abstinence, and personal harm or conflicts in the environment, as well as a tendency to relapse. Sussman and Sussman () profile addiction, in its broadest sense, as the capacity to get “hooked” on reinforcing behaviors, excessive worry about consumption or behaviors with high positive reinforcement, tolerance, loss of control, and difficulty in avoiding said behavior, despite its negative consequences. Specifically, Echeburua et al. () noted as defining elements of behavioral addictions the loss of control, the establishment of a dependent relationship, tolerance, the need for progressively more time and dedication, and severe interference with daily life. Cía () highlights the automatism by which these behaviors lead to uncontrollable use, in addition to feelings of intense desire or irresistible need, loss of control, inattention to usual activities, the focalization of interests on the behavior or activity of interest, the persistence of the behavior despite its negative effects, and the irritability and malaise associated with abstinence.

Following the criteria of Hooper and Zhou (), O’Guinn and Faber (), and Hanley and Wilhelm () regarding motivations of use, Shambare et al. () consider cell-phone addiction to be one of the greatest addictions of the current century. They highlight six types of behavior, habitual (habits performed with little mental awareness), mandatory (officially required o parentally mandated), voluntary (reasoned and conducted for specific motivations), dependent (motivated by the attached importance of social norms), compulsive (strong urge to continuously perform the behavior), and addictive, or behavior defined by the user’s progressive exclusion of other activities, causing physical, mental, and social harm, while attempting to control the user’s dysphoric feelings. Therefore, excessive attention and uncontrolled dedication to one’s cell phone is an addiction.

In any case, the research and literature on Internet, videogame, and cell-phone use are ever-increasing. One bibliometric study () indicated a progressive and growing body of research, with the Internet being the most highly studied area, followed by videogames and then cell phones. In recent years, research interest in cell-phone use has notably increased.

Cell-Phone Addiction

In April 2015, the number of cell-phone lines exceeded 53.6 million in Spain, which was1.4% higher than that of the previous year, with a penetration of 108.5% [National Commission of Markets and Competence ()]. This amounts to slightly greater than one cell phone per person, and 81% of these cell-phone lines were associated with smartphones in 2014 [Telephonic Foundation ()]. The age of cell phone initiation is becoming increasingly younger: 30% of 10-year-old Spanish children have a cell phone; the rate increases to nearly 70% at age 12 and 83% at age 14. Furthermore, starting at the age of 2–3 years, Spanish children habitually access their parents’ devices ().

These data imply that the cell phone enables behavioral problems and disorders, particularly in adolescents. This fact has become more and more evident in communications media, inspiring new pathologies, such as “Nomophobia” (No-Mobile-Phobia), “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out) – the fear of being without a cell phone, disconnected or off the Internet, “Textaphrenia” and “Ringxiety” – the false sensation of having received a text message or call that leads to constantly checking the device, and “Textiety” – the anxiety of receiving and responding immediately to text messages ().

Physical and psychological problems have reportedly resulted from cell-phone abuse, including rigidity and muscle pain, ocular afflictions resulting from Computer Vision Syndrome reflected in fatigue, dryness, blurry vision, irritation, or ocular redness (), auditory and tactile illusions – the sensation of having heard a ring or felt a vibration of a cell phone (, ), and pain and weakness in the thumbs and wrists leading to an increased number of cases of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis ().

In broader behavioral terms, the following problematic manifestations have also been noted, frequently compared to and corroborated by the diagnostic criteria of the DSM (see Table ​Table11):

  • – Problematic and conscious use in dangerous situations or prohibited contexts () with social and familial conflicts and confrontations, as well as loss of interest in other activities (). A continuation of the behavior is observed despite the negative effects or the personal malaise caused (, ).
  • – Harm, repeated physical, mental, social, work, or familial interruptions, preferring the cell phone to personal contact (); frequent and constant consultations in brief periods () with insomnia and sleep disturbances (, ).
  • – Excessive use, urgency, abstinence, tolerance, dependence, difficulty controlling, craving, increasing use to achieve satisfaction or relaxation or to counteract a dysphoric mood (, , ), the need to be connected, feelings of irritability or of being lost if separated from the phone or of sending and viewing messages with feelings of unease when unable to use it (, ).
  • – Anxiety and loneliness when unable to send a message or receive an immediate response (); stress and changes in mood due to the need to respond immediately to messages (, ).
Table 1  

Symptomatology of problematic cell-phone use vs. DSM-5 criteria for compulsive gambling and substance use.

Chóliz (), supporting his theory using the DSM-IV-TR for substance addiction, mentioned four factors that define addiction and dependence in students: abstinence, lack of control, tolerance, and abuse and interference with other activities (, ). Similarly, in a recent longitudinal study on student smartphone use, addictive behavior was related to the downloading and use of specific applications along with compulsive consultation and writing. That is, a non-addicted user can spend the identical amount of time on the cell phone as an addicted user, but the non-addicted user’s time is constant, more focused on concrete tasks and less disperse ().

There exists, however, a broad spectrum of positions taken by researchers, ranging from the absolute existence of addiction to a broader interpretation of these symptoms, as the result of an impulse control disorder or of problematic or psychopathological personality traits, which offer a greater range of behavioral possibilities beyond addiction itself. In this sense, Sansone and Sansone () note that the delineations between abuse, misuse, dependence, and addiction have yet to be clearly defined. Toda et al. () note that cell-phone abuse can also be seen as a behavior congruent with a certain lifestyle.

However, considering the general profiles of addiction indicated, the symptoms and specific predicament observed, and analyzing its correspondence to the criteria for pathological gambling in the DSM-5 and substance addiction – a fundamental comparative medium for many researchers evaluating phone addiction – an important parallelism can be appreciated, which requires the consideration of its existence without excluding other potentially problematic behaviors.

Finally, there is a known vulnerability or “breeding ground” associated with the development of substance addiction in general, and for behavioral addictions in particular, that is defined by low self-esteem, difficulty with conflict, impulsivity and sensation seeking, intolerance of pain and sadness, and/or a tendency toward depressive or dysphoric states (). This could explain the frequent coexistence of problematic cell-phone behavior and problematic traits or psychiatric comorbidities, as seen below.


Sizeable prevalence data (see Table ​Table2)2) have been generated in response to specific addiction criteria, dependence, problematic use, excessive use, and risky behavior. Within each criterion, broad percentage ranges are supported by various methodologies, instruments, and samples, making comparisons difficult.

Table 2  

Prevalence data.

It is known that self-reported questionnaires differ in self-implication and sincerity depending on whether they are administered in person or by correspondence. In fact, certain behaviors tend to be minimized in self-reports (). Taking into account that several studies on cell-phone addiction have used the self-attribution or self-perception of the interviewee (), Beranuy Fargues et al. () observed that in this sense, 22.1% of adolescents and 27.9% of young people were considered to be cell-phone addicts, although only 5.35% and 5.26% of them exhibited dangerous or harmful behaviors. Billieux et al. () also found that certain dimensions of impulsivity, such as impatience, low perseverance, and length of cell-phone possession, were predictors of greater self-attribution of addiction.

Therefore, self-attribution results in high prevalence data and leads to a greater subjective sensation of addiction, which is decreased when using objective or validated criteria beyond subjective self-perception ().

The prevalence samples are generally based on young students and adolescents, which means that prevalence essentially refers to this population without the consistent availability of exact ages. Although we know that cell-phone abuse can be truly problematic in young students and adolescents, we lack a broader understanding of the problem with respect to the general population. It is important to evaluate the differences between the adolescent and adult populations and observe the effects of cell-phone use on each of them (). In addition, relevant inter-geographical and intercultural differences have not been sufficiently studied to date, although some studies have noted a greater prevalence in Middle East (Iran) and East Asian populations, specifically in Korea where university students showed a greater level of dependence (11.15%) than the Americans (6.36%) ().

Methodological Problems with the Study of Cell-Phone Addiction

Methodology and evaluation instruments (see Table ​Table3)3) are determined by their base criteria of origin. Essentially, there is one line of inquiry that considers addiction to be an extensive concept, not limited to substances, that has a foundation in its neurobiologic basis (, , ). This concept has been used in the criteria of pathological gambling (, , , ) and substance addiction [Yen et al. (), Chóliz and Villanueva (), Chóliz and Villanueva (), Chóliz (), Labrador Encinas and Villadangos González (), Merlo et al. (), Kwon et al. (), Roberts et al. (), and among others]. Some authors have based their research on the criteria of Internet addiction or general behavioral addiction, which had a clear support on the criteria established from substance abuse research (, , , , , , , ).

Table 3  

Instruments and methodologies.

Another line of research accepts the concept of cell-phone addiction, broadening the possibilities and defining the behavior, together with the term “addiction” related to compulsive behavior (), dependent behavior (, , , , ), and problematic, excessive, or pathological use (, , ), which leads to evaluation instruments with relatively broad behavioral ranges. This research line is characterized by an emphasis on the coexistence of lack of impulse control and addiction. From this perspective, lack of control is the result of, or coexists with, other pathologies in which impulsivity plays a relevant role (, ). Therefore, the fact that cell-phone use is reinforcing could lead to problematic behaviors without necessarily needing to label them as addictions (, , ).

Methodologically, the majority of these studies are cross-sectional and based on questionnaires using students and samples of convenience that typically contain only one sample point, although several recent studies have been based on longitudinal telematic registries. Currently, the following lines of inquiry are most salient:

  • – Research using questionnaires based on self-described addiction [Beranuy Fargues et al. (); Chen (); Perry and Lee (); Halayem et al. (); Hashem (), among others] – the concept of addictionis presupposed from the start, and a personal self-evaluation is requested from the interviewee. They generally produce high prevalence data, as mentioned earlier.
  • – Research using questionnaires about problematic behaviors, classifying users as a function of their use (, , , , ) without necessarily addressing the concept of addiction – addiction in this case is validated by external criteria, such as the DSM-IV-TR or DSM-5, taking dangerous, problematic, or dependent use as behaviors into account [Hooper and Zhou (), Leung (), Leung (), Igarashi et al. (), Chóliz and Villanueva (), Chóliz and Villanueva (), Chóliz (), Koo (), Walsh et al. (), Martinotti et al. (), Pawlowska and Potembska (), Merlo et al. (), Kwon et al. (), and among others].
  • – Longitudinal studies with behavior-registering devices using software installed on the cell phones of the participants where the specific use of each participant was registered continuously – this is the most recent methodology, and relatively small samples are used to register content, usage time, and frequency of consultation. One such study showed that the total perceived usage time reported on the questionnaires was higher than the actual registered data (, , , ), meaning that the self-perception of the time dedicated to the content reported in the questionnaires was less than the actual time registered by the application, indicating a clear underestimation of usage ().
  • – Qualitative studies that seek the direct experience of the users (, , ) – these are based on personal and group interviews, offering direct information that is very useful for the design of quantitative research instruments, as well as for the evaluation and analysis of the results obtained.

In general, these instruments and studies have evolved from the study of global cell-phone use behavior toward specific behaviors, such as using smartphones (, ), mobile Internet (), social networks in general (, , ), Facebook in particular (, ), text messages (, ), and WhatsApp () or the consequences of such behaviors, i.e., nomophobia (). Therefore, in addition to the study of the behavior associated with the device itself, relevance is given to its use and differentiation via specific activities, applications, and consequences. In this sense, Lin et al. () suggest that the smartphone may have given rise to a new type of addictive behavior defined as a multidimensional construct, as well as for the Internet addiction.

Sociodemographic Differences

There is great diversity in the data and studies on problematic cell-phone use, although the majority of them essentially analyze age and sex differences, with the evaluation of educational level and economic status being more or less conclusive. Although the studies we reviewed had very diverse geographical origins, an analysis of cultural geographical diversity is lacking in the literature.

Differences by Age

The youngest group, particularly adolescents, is the most highly affected by and at risk for both substance and behavioral addiction (), which has led the majority of studies to address these age groups.

In general, the data show that the total time spent on cell phones decreases with age, with the highest times reported for people less than 20 years old, principally adolescents, approximately 14 years old (, , , , , , ). This fact is related to the decreased self-control found in this age group (). Specifically, the most frequent use of their time is spent on text messaging (, , ), with other forms of contact increasing over time ().

Cell-phone use in adolescents is so important that some adolescents never turn off their cell phones at night, fostering vigilance behavior that makes rest difficult (). Specifically, 27% of young people between 11 and 14 years of age admit that they never turn off their cell phones, a behavior that increases with age such that between 13–14 years old, one out of every three young people never turns off his/her device ().

The age of possession of one’s first cell phone is also relevant: the younger age at which this occurs, the greater the probability of problematic use in the future. In particular, Sahin et al. () found that the greatest indices of problematic use or addiction are found when one’s first phone is obtained at an age younger than 13 years.

Differences by Gender

Virtually all the studies indicate that females have higher levels of dependence and problematic use than males (, , , ). Female cell-phone use is typically related to sociability (), interpersonal relationships and the creation, and maintenance of contacts and indirect communication, and texting and instant messaging are their most frequently used applications (, ). In addition, a cell phone can be used to avoid unpleasant moods (, ), which leads to impatient and uneasy behavior associated with conscious self-control and spending difficulties (, ).

For males, cell-phone use is simultaneously based on text messages, voice conversations (, ), and gaming applications (, ), and they show a higher tendency than females to use their cell phone in risky situations (). A study carried out by Roberts et al. () found that the most problematic applications are voice calls, text messages, and social networks. The differences between males and females are based on usage time rather than utilization. Females spend more time than males on each of these applications, which leads to behavior oriented toward intense and close social relationships, whereas males use their time in a more practical and instrumental way.

For females, therefore, the cell phone is a means of social contact, in which messaging and social networks play a relevant role, while for males, a more diversified type of usage is observed. This differs from Internet use, which shows the inverse profile: problematic behavior is observed more frequently in males (). Cell-phone abuse thus responds to a pattern of greater lack of impulse control (); similarly, being female could be a protective factor for problematic Internet use ().

Education, Cultural Level, and Economic Status Differences

Despite the lack of evidence of educational and economic level differences in usage (), Mazaheri and Najarkolaei () found that students from families with higher cultural and economic levels have higher levels of dependence, a fact they relate to the isolation and loneliness felt when studying far from home; here, the cell phone is a tool for contact. In the same sense, Tavakolizadeh et al. () confirmed a direct relationship between education level and problematic use, which they attributed to the time spent away from home and the isolation caused by extended periods of study. Sanchez Martinez and Otero () confirmed a relationship between students and problematic cell-phone use, negative family relationships, and parents with a high level of education without economic difficulties. They explain that this relationship is due to the need to maintain compensatory social relationships.

Sahin et al. (), on the contrary, found that the level of cell-phone addiction is greater in students from families with lower versus higher incomes. Lopez-Fernandez et al. () also observed a significant relationship between student cell-phone use and their parents’ level of education. The higher the level of education of the father or mother was, the less problematic the cell-phone use; if the parents had university degrees, the exclusive technological entertainment of their children decreased. In the same direction, Leung () found a relationship between low socioeconomic and educational levels and problematic cell-phone use.

In terms of family education, Zhou et al. () also observed a significant relationship between parents’ abuse of and dependence on cell phones and children’s addiction to the Internet and other technologies, which they interpreted as the result of affective abandonment.

Geographical and Cultural Differences

It is logical to assume that geographical and cultural differences exist regarding problematic cell-phone use; however, scarce conclusive geographical data are available on the topic. It appears that greater cell-phone dependence exists in East Asian countries, such as Korea, which can be explained by their sizeable cell-phone offerings and high technological penetration among the youngest strata. Shin () carried out a comparative study evaluating the degree of mobile Internet dependence of university students in the United States and Korea. Their data confirmed that the Koreans showed a greater level of dependence (11.15%) than the Americans (6.36%).

Personality and Psychological Variables

Essentially, problematic cell-phone studies aim to detect the variables or personality traits that coexist with problematic or addictive behavior. In this sense, one can also talk about vulnerability, insofar as some of these traits can be precursors to or predictors of addiction to either drugs or certain behaviors ().Specifically, they have focused on the five-factor model (FFM) of personality as well as on self-esteem, self-concept, self-identity, and impulsivity.

Five-Factor Model

The “Big Five PersonalityTraits,” also known as the FFM, has been used in research on both cell phone and substance addiction ().The FFM establishes five dimensions of personality (extraversion, openness to experience or change, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism or emotional instability).

Takao (), using the NEO five-factor inventory (), observed that being female, extrovert, neurotic, and low opened to experience predict 13.5% of cases of problematic cell-phone use. Neuroticism is related to low self-esteem and the need for social approval, while low openness to experience implies a tendency to avoid disagreeable emotional states.

Kuss and Griffiths () found that extraverts use social networks to make and improve contacts, whereas introverts use them to compensate for their difficulties in relating to people. Both extraverts and introverts are potential addicts, particularly extraverts with low scores in conscientiousness and introverts with high scores in neuroticism and narcissism. Giota and Kleftaras () observed that the problematic use of social networks is related to neuroticism and agreeableness as well as to depression, particularly in females.

Lane and Manner () confirmed that extraversion is a potent predictor of smartphone possession, with text messages and instant messaging being the most frequently used applications. At the same time, a high agreeableness score predicts higher phone calling than texting, which suggests that social contact is supported by direct communication.

Similarly, Bianchi and Phillips () studied problematic cell-phone use as a function of age, extraversion, and low self-esteem. Specifically, extraversion was associated with the need for more frequent self-stimulation via texts than direct contact. In their study, neuroticism was not a predictive variable; however, they observed that low self-esteem predicted problematic use insofar as it determined an indirect messaging style of communication. Notably, self-esteem can change according to context and time and can be considered to be a state () that is amenable to contextual cell-phone use (). This suggests that problematic cell-phone use related to low self-esteem might be situational in nature.

Igarashi et al. () studied the problematic use of text messages vis-à-vis direct personal relationships. They found that dependence and excessive use are explained, on the one hand, by extraversion, which reflects the need and desire to maintain communication with others and establish new relationships, while on the other hand, text messaging to address a need for security and compensate for the fear of social loss can be explained by neuroticism.

Andreassen et al. () focused their study on Facebook to develop the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS). They found that the BFAS is positively correlated not only with the Addictive Tendencies Scale () but also with neuroticism and extraversion and is negatively correlated with conscientiousness. Two perspectives can be appreciated here: extraversion maintains a direct relationship with problematic cell-phone use, whereas this relationship is inverse with respect to the Internet (). Thus, Facebook can be addictive, and the extraversion profile can be either direct or inverse, depending on whether Facebook is used via a cell phone or computer.

In general, the abuse of sending text messages is associated with a strong tendency for extraversion and low self-esteem. In social networks, in addition to extraversion, neuroticism is a likely factor because individuals with high levels of anxiety and insecurity can use social networks for support and security (). Comparatively, the use of social media on a computer reflects a tendency for evasion, social phobia, shyness, introversion, neuroticism, low levels of self-esteem, and self-sufficiency, in addition to sensation seeking ().

Impulsivity and Sensation Seeking

Impulsivity is another traditionally considered predictive dimension of cell-phone abuse, and we have previously analyzed its role as a precursor or vulnerability factor for behavioral addictions (, ). In particular, Billieux et al. () analyzed the role of impulsivity according to the four components of the UPPS [Urgency, (lack of) Premeditation, (lack of) Perseverance and Sensation seeking] reference scale (). They found that urgency, lack of premeditation, and lack of perseverance are inversely related to self-control. However, urgency, defined as the tendency to experience strong impulses that cannot be postponed as a result of negative affective states, is the component that best predicts problematic cell-phone use. Thus, a high urgency score relates to an increased number of calls, duration, and number of text messages sent. Urgency is similarly related to inadequate strategies for emotional self-regulation, such as ruminating thoughts that provoke and maintain negative affective states. Problematic cell-phone use in this case reflects an attempt to control these negative emotional states. On the other hand, lack of perseverance can be reflected in the number and duration of cell-phone calls as well as in associated economic problems, while lack of premeditation entails its use in dangerous or prohibited situations, which is related to sensation seeking ().

Sensation seeking is a personality trait that entails the dimensions of thrill and adventure seeking, lack of inhibition, experience seeking, and sensitivity to boredom (, ). It is characterized by the need for new experiences that are uncommon, varied, and intense, with accompanying physical, social, legal, and/or financial risks, and frequently coexists with impulsivity in addictive behavior (). Previous studies have found a relationship between leisure boredom and self-esteem; Leung (, ) confirmed that boredom, measured by the Leisure Boredom Scale (), sensation seeking, using the Adventure subscale (), and self-esteem through the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale () are significant predictors of problematic cell-phone use.

Self-esteem, Self-identity, Self-control, and Social Environment

Concepts such as self-esteem, self-control or social self-vigilance, and dependence on the environment are found in the majority of studies on problematic cell-phone use. Takao et al. () observed that problematic cell-phone use is a function of the need for social approval and self-control but is unrelated to loneliness. The latter, on the contrary, is related to Internet abuse (). Given that loneliness coexists with introversion, it can be concluded that differentially, these variables are predictors of Internet addiction but not necessarily cell-phone addiction. Nevertheless, Bhardwaj and Ashok () found a correlation between cell-phone addiction and loneliness. The need for social approval, expressed in the time dedicated to writing and reading messages, has also been associated with low self-esteem ().

Park et al. () found that imitation of others, low self-esteem, and social anxiety contributed to cell-phone abuse. However, as in other studies, it is not necessarily voice conversations but rather the number of text messages that is frequently the result of problematic use.

Walsh et al. () differentiated the frequency of cell-phone use from personal implication or dependence as measured by the Mobile Phone Involvement Questionnaire (MPIQ). They considered that self-identity, or the perceived value of the cell phone for self-concept and others’ approval, would be a predictor of frequency of use, while self-identity and others’ approval would determine dependence or implication. That is, they considered cell-phone dependence to be related to dependence on the social environment. Later, Walsh et al. () found that self-identity at an early age predicts frequency of use, while dependence or personal implication with the cell phone maintains important relationships with being female, youth, self-identity, and group norms.

Similarly, self-esteem is a commonly examined trait in problematic cell-phone use studies. Cell-phone abuse and addiction has even been explained using Attachment Theory (), which establishes that new-borns, from birth, must develop a close relationship with at least one principal caretaker in synchrony with their needs and emotional states for healthy social and emotional development. There is evidence that insecure attachment styles are associated with low self-esteem (, ) and, therefore, potential predictors of problematic cell-phone use ().

Finally, Billieux () summarized the current open lines of inquiry, indicating four groups in the problematic cell-phone use research: (a) impulsivity, from its limited capacity for self-control and emotional regulation, (b) relationship maintenance, which portrays cell-phone abuse as a means to obtain security in affective relationships and is characterized by low self-esteem and high levels of neuroticism, (c) extraversion, which associates excessive use with sociability and the intense desire to maintain relationships, and (d) Cyberaddiction in consonance with smartphone technology, which allows access to diverse utilities and applications online. The latter explains abusive use as a result of this technological environment’s attraction. From this viewpoint, addiction could lead to other harmful behaviors, such as Internet or videogame abuse.

Psychological Problems and Psychiatric Comorbidities

With respect to the psychological problems derived from cell-phone abuse, the research focuses on sleep interference and its coexistence with using substances such as alcohol and tobacco and with symptomatology and psychiatric comorbidities, particularly anxiety, stress, and depression.

Interference with Sleep

The sleep interference problem has essentially been observed in adolescence, where in cell-phone abuse can interfere with healthy activities and habits, specifically affecting sleep time and quality. In particular, Sahin et al. () observed that the higher students’ points are for problematic use on the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale (MPPUS) (), the greater the deterioration in their sleep quality, measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality scale ().

Along the same lines, Jenaro et al. () found that student cell-phone abuse is associated with anxiety and insomnia, particularly in females. Thomée et al. (, ) also observed a relationship between the number of calls and messages and sleep difficulties as well as with the tendency to use the phone during the night (). Similarly, personal stress is thought to be derived from cell-phone abuse insofar as it maintains a state of alertness and interferes with sleep ().

With respect to social networks, high marks on the BFAS () are related to the duration and interruption of sleep during the week, confirming that excessive Facebook use interferes with sleep, decreasing the number of hours slept, and increasing interruptions.

Substance Use

Substance use in relation to cell phones is often encapsulated within broader research that considers the user’s inability to maintain healthy lifestyle habits, together with symptomatology and psychiatric comorbidities.

In effect, personality problems and psychiatric symptoms coexist with substance and behavioral abuse. If we include the psychological and neurobiological bases of addictions, be they related to substances or behaviors (, , , , , , ), it is natural to observe the coexistence of both, as found in research on the Internet (). In particular, Lee et al. () demonstrated the existence of a neurobiological pattern of common EEG registers for Internet use and depression.

In a study with students, Sanchez Martinez and Otero () found a significant relationship between cell-phone abuse, school failure, depressive symptomatology, smoking and consuming cannabis, and other drugs. Similarly, Toda et al. () also observed a relationship between cell-phone use and smoking, solely in males, without alcohol consumption, likely due to its lower penetration in their Japanese sample. Social networks have also been shown to coexist with substance use ().

Therefore, there is a coexistence relationship between substance use and behavioral addiction. In fact, neuroticism predicts the consumption of tobacco, cocaine, and heroin and openness to experience predicts the consumption of marijuana; all of these impulsive behaviors attempt to control internal dysphoric states () in a context very similar to cell-phone abuse. However, these types of studies tend to be found within broader research, and there have been few studies specifically focused on the coexistence of problematic cell-phone use and substance use.

Associated Personality and Psychiatric Problems

Research into psychiatric problems and symptoms is more abundant for the Internet than for cell phones. In the latter, anxiety, depression, and stress are observed, as well as problems with sleep and loneliness. The vast majority of studies have been carried out using students and with diagnostic evaluations that are not always supported by validated or regulated diagnostic instruments.

Augner and Hacker () discovered significant relationships between cell-phone abuse, chronic stress, emotional stability, and depression in young women. Tavakolizadeh et al. () also observed a coexistence relationship between one’s mental health state – the tendency toward somatization, anxiety, and depression – and excessive cell-phone use.

As previously noted, there are differences between the psychopathological manifestations of problematic cell phone and Internet use, with Internet use demonstrating a majority profile of introversion and loneliness (). Depression appears to be more consubstantial with Internet use, while anxiety seems to be more consubstantial with problematic cell-phone use, specifically via text messaging (). This indicates that the Internet responds to different psychological behavioral patterns than cell phones.

Social network psychopathological variables tend to be similarly related to the context of the Internet, where problematic use is related to depression and neuroticism, particularly in females (). The potential differential profile of comorbidities associated with problematic cell-phone use related to applications, such as social networks and instant messaging, needs a thorough revision.

An inverse relationship is apparent between mental health and problematic cell-phone use. In particular, students with lower levels of mental health and psychological stability are more susceptible to developing addictive tendencies to cell phones. These students search for a reduction of tension and dysphoria through social contact, although the existence of manifestations of addiction among healthy students is not excluded with regard to specific or contextual needs (). Hooper and Zhou () indicate, on the contrary, that stress in students with addiction could be the result of problems derived from problematic cell-phone use. Chen () also observed a relationship between depression and cell-phone addiction, a coexistence that Young and Rodgers () had previously demonstrated, nevertheless indicating that depressive symptoms are associated with many manifestations of alcohol and drug addiction. Therefore, it is unsurprising to find this relationship with respect to the Internet, although it is unknown whether depression points to a vulnerability or consequence.


We have reviewed problematic cell-phone use with criteria similar to those established for substance addiction or pathological gambling. While we have clearly shown that problematic cell-phone use is an emerging problem that is tightly linked to technological development, there is a lack of coherence and uniformity in the criteria for studying it that requires caution in accepting many of the conclusions indicated.

Undoubtedly, the greatest roadblock to research in cell-phone abuse is the diversity of terms, criteria, and constructs available in the field. Some researchers are convinced that we are facing an addiction unlike any other. In addition, a prudent attitude exists toward the classification of addiction. However, there is an almost indistinguishable or scantly differentiated use of the terms addiction, problematic use, and abuse in the literature. This only adds to the confusion and explains the great diversity of prevalence data in the field and lack of comparability; above all, this diversity of perspectives and lack of conceptual definition has led to studies with very diverse methodologies using samples of convenience, typically consisting of students of very limited size and number of sample points.

In effect, whether or not it is an addiction, cell phones give rise to problems that increasingly affect daily life, for the most part without the risk of uncontrolled spending with the establishment of flat rates or free Wi-Fi access and unlimited use. If we observe the equivalence of its symptoms with the criteria for substance addiction or pathological gambling, a great parallelism is confirmed, corroborated by its coexistence with substance use. We consider that, in effect, we are facing an addiction that is surely not as widespread as some researchers posit. There is a need for a useful conceptualization of the term and a limitation of the boundaries between abuse and addiction and the weight of psychiatric comorbidities, where it is difficult to determine whether problematic use coexists with or is a consequence of them, which becomes more complicated in combined behavioral and substance use addictions.

On the other hand, the majority of the studies have focused on the adolescent and student populations, a period of life where impulsivity and sensation seeking play an important role. Thus, we consider that the concept of cell-phone addiction cannot be extended to the population as a whole until additional data and studies on the adult population are available.

Within the diversity of methodologies, self-reporting is the most frequently used instrument, with all the problems and advantages it entails with respect to the different forms of administration used (mail, email, or phone surveys applied in classes, establishments, street cafés, or university campuses). We know that the context of the application influences a study’s results. Thus, it makes sense to use broad, randomized samples with a controlled context of administration to enable efforts to validate and control the reliability of the questionnaires. Longitudinal studies are novel and are typically completed with cross-sectional questionnaires, but they still suffer from insufficient sample size.

Regarding user profiles, cell-phone use is clearly not an extension of computer use; they are two behaviors with different motivations and user profiles. In both cases, greater impact is found in the young and adolescent population; in the case of the Internet, the users have a wider age range and tend to be more masculine, with a greater presence of introversion and social isolation. Cell-phone abuse, on the contrary, presents a younger, more feminine profile with greater extraversion focused on instant messaging and social networks. Both Internet and cell-phone abuse are associated with problems of self-esteem, self-concept, and neuroticism.

Additional clear identifiers with regards to the problematic cell user profile are lacking. We have previously seen that the data on the socioeconomic levels of the parents and users are not yet consistent. Important cultural and geographic differences are suspected; however, rather than becoming objects of study, these differences have supposed biases that hinder comparability.

With respect to the psychological and psychiatric problems associated with problematic cell-phone use, there is an inverse relationship between mental health, healthy habits, and cell-phone addiction. Comorbidities reported include sleep affectations, anxiety, stress (and depression, to a lesser extent), and consumption of substances, such as alcohol or tobacco, particularly in adolescents. In addition, coexistence with certain psychiatric pathologies, in which lack of impulse control is shared, is also evident.

In summary, there is still much work to be done in this field in light of the limitation of its concepts, criteria, and methodologies. It is highly probable that we may regard the cell phone as an object of easy addiction for vulnerable, addictive, or problematic personalities while allowing for problematic and compulsory use in specific situations and contexts. In addition, it is necessary to broaden the range of analysis in this field to the adult population, with the aim of obtaining a global consideration of the use and abuse of the cell phone. Although the cell phone certainly entails risks for young people and adolescents, problematic consumption indubitably exists in adults as well.

Author Contributions

Dr. Gabriel Rubio and Dr. Fernando Rodríguez de Fonseca designed the strategy for the present review and selected the topics to be discussed. Prof. José de Sola Gutiérrez searched for the references, read the manuscripts, and wrote the first outline of the review. The three authors reviewed the manuscript and helped with the final writing. Dr. Fernando Rodríguez de Fonseca obtained the financial support.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


This work was financed by the Network of Addictive Disorders (Red de Trastornos Adictivos), the Carlos III Health Institute (Instituto de Salud Carlos III) and EU-ERDF (Sub-programme RETICS RD12/0028/0001).


1. Holden C. Behavioral addictions: do they exist? Science (2001) 294:980–2.10.1126/science.294.5544.980 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
2. Bianchi A, Phillips JG.. Psychological predictors of problem mobile phone use. Cyberpsychol Behav (2005) 8:39–51.10.1089/cpb.2005.8.39 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
3. Tosell C, Kortum P, Shepard C, Rahmati A, Zhong L. Exploring smartphone addiction: insights from long-term telemetric behavioral measures. Int J Interact Mob Technol (2015) 9:37–43.10.3991/ijim.v9i2.4300 [Cross Ref]
4. Fisher S.. Identifying video game addiction in children and adolescents. Addict Behav (1994) 19:545–53.10.1016/0306-4603(94)90010-8 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
5. Adams J, Kirkby RJ. Excessive exercise as an addiction: a review. Addict Res Theory (2002) 10:415–37.10.1080/1606635021000032366 [Cross Ref]
6. Griffiths MD. Internet sex addiction. A review of empirical research. Addict Theory Res (2012) 20:111–24.10.3109/16066359.2011.588351 [Cross Ref]
7. Oxford J. Excessive Appetites: A Psychological View of the Addictions. 2nd ed Chichester, West Sussex, England: Wiley & Sons; (2001).
8. O’Guinn TC, Faber RJ. Compulsive buying: a phenomenological exploration. J Consum Res (1989) 16:147–57.10.1086/209204 [Cross Ref]
9. Clark M, Calleja K. Shopping addiction: a preliminary investigation among Maltese university students. Addict Res Theory (2008) 16:633–49.10.1080/16066350801890050 [Cross Ref]
10. Andreassen CS, Hetland J, Pallesen S. The relationship between ‘workaholism’, basic needs satisfaction at work and personality. Eur J Personal (2010) 24:3–17.10.1002/per.737 [Cross Ref]
11. Young KS.. Psychology of computer use: XL. Addictive use of the Internet: a case that breaks the stereotype. Psychol Rep (1996) 79:899–902.10.2466/pr0.1996.79.3.899 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
12. Young KS. Internet addiction: symptoms, evaluation and treatment. Innov Clin Pract (1999) 17:19–31.
13. Young KS. Internet addiction a new clinical phenomenon and its consequences. Am Behav Sci (2004) 48:402–15.10.1177/0002764204270278 [Cross Ref]
14. Young KS. Internet addiction.diagnosis and treatment consideration. J Contemp Psychother (2009) 39:241–6.10.1007/s10879-009-9120-x [Cross Ref]
15. Beard KW.. Internet addiction: a review of current assessment techniques and potential assessment questions. Cyberpsychol Behav (2005) 8:7–14.10.1089/cpb.2005.8.7 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
16. Griffiths MD. The biopsychosocial and ‘complex’ systems approach as a unified framework for addiction. Behav Brain Sci (2008) 31:446–7.10.1017/S0140525X08004822 [Cross Ref]
17. Griffiths MD. A ‘components’ model of addiction within a biopsychosocial framework. J Subst Use (2005) 10:191–7.10.1080/14659890500114359 [Cross Ref]
18. Voon V, Fox SH. Medication-related impulsive control and repetitive behaviors in Parkinson disease. Arch Neurol (2007) 64:1089–96.10.1001/archneur.64.8.1089 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
19. Wu K, Politis M, Piccini P. Parkinson disease and impulsive control disorders: a review of clinical features, pathophysiology and management. Postgrad Med J (2011) 85:590–6.10.1136/pgmj.2008.075820 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
20. Voon V, Gao G, Brezing C, Symmonds M, Ekanayake V, Fernandez H, et al. Dopamine agonists and risk: impulsive control disorders in Parkinson’s disease. Brain (2011) 134:1438–46.10.1093/brain/awr080 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
21. Vilas D, Pont-Sunyer C, Tolosa E. Impulsive control disorders in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord (2012) 18:80–4.10.1016/S1353-8020(11)70026-8 [Cross Ref]
22. Lane W, Manner C. The impact of personality traits on smartphone ownership and use. Int J Bus Soc Sci (2011) 2:22–8.
23. Lin YH, Lin YC, Lee YH, Lin PH, Lin SH, Chang LR, et al. Time distortion associated with smartphone addiction: identifying smartphone addiction via a mobile application (App). J Psychiatr Res (2015) 65:139–45.10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.04.003 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
24. Pedrero Perez EJ, Rodriguez Monje MT, Ruiz Sanchez De Leon JM. Adicción o abuso del teléfono móvil: revisión de la literatura. Adicciones (2012) 24:139–52.10.20882/adicciones.107 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
25. Griffiths MD. Internet addiction: fact or fiction? Psychologist (1999) 12:246–50.
26. Pawlowska B, Potembska E. Gender and severity of symptoms of mobile phone addiction in Polish gymnasium, secondary school and university students. Curr Probl Psychiatry (2011) 12:433–8.
27. Roberts JA, Petnji Yaya LH, Manolis CH.. The invisible addiction: cell-phone activities and addiction among male and female college students. J Behav Addict (2014) 3:254–65.10.1556/JBA.3.2014.015 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
28. Taneja C. The psychology of excessive cellular phone use. Delhi Psychiatry J (2014) 17:448–51.
29. Brown RIF. Some contributions of the study of gambling to the study of other addictions. In: Eadington WR, Cornelius JA, editors. , editors. Gambling Behavior and Problem Gambling. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press; (1993). p. 341–72.
30. Griffiths MD. Nicotine, tobacco and addiction. Nature (1996) 384:18. [PubMed]
31. Sussman S, Sussman AN.. Considering the definition of addiction. Int J Environ Res Public Health (2011) 8:4025–38.10.3390/ijerph8104025 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
32. Echeburua E, Labrador FJ, Becoña E. Adicción a las nuevas tecnologías en jóvenes y adolescentes. Madrid: Pirámide; (2009).
33. Cía AH. Las adicciones no relacionadas a sustancias (DSM-5, APA, 2013): Un primer paso hacia la inclusión de las Adicciones Conductuales en las clasificaciones categoriales vigentes. Revista de Neuropsiquiatría (2013) 76:210–7.
34. Hooper V, Zhou Y. Addictive, dependent, compulsive? A study of mobile phone usage. 20th Bled eConferenceeMergence: Mergin and Emerging Technologies, Processes and Institutions; Jun 4-6; Bled, Slovenia (2007).
35. Hanley A, Wilhelm MS. Compulsive buying: an exploration into self-esteem and money attitudes. J Econ Psychol (1992) 13:5–18.10.1016/0167-4870(92)90049-D [Cross Ref]
36. Shambare R, Rugimbana R, Zhowa T. Are mobile phones the 21 th century addiction? J Bus Manag (2012) 6:573–7.10.5897/AJBM11.1940 [Cross Ref]
37. Carbonell X, Guardiola E, Beranuy M, Belles A.. A bibliometric analysis of the scientific literature on Internet, video games and cell phone addiction. J Med Library Assoc (2009) 97:102–7.10.3163/1536-5050.97.2.006 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
38. Comisión Nacional De Los Mercados Y De La Competencia (CNMC). Evolución del número de líneas de telefonía móvil en España. Nota mensual de abril de 2015. Periodo 1997 – abril 2015. Madrid: Ministerio de Industria, Energía y Turismo de España; (2015).
39. Fundación Telefónica. La Sociedad de la Información en España 2014. Barcelona: Editorial Ariel; (2015).
40. Protegeles. Menores de Edad y Conectividad Móvil en España: Tablets y Smartphones. PROTEGELES, dependiente del Safer Internet Programme de la Comisión Europea. (2014). Available from: www.protegeles.com
41. Aggarwal KK. Twenty-six percent doctors suffer from severe mobile phone-induced anxiety: excessive use of mobile phone can be injurious to your health. Indian J Clin Pract (2013) 24:7–9.
42. Verma RK, Rajiah K, Cheang A, Barua A. Textaphrenia: an emerging silent pandemic. Afr J Psychiatry (2014) 17:510–1.10.4172/1994-8220.1000e103 [Cross Ref]
43. Lin YH, Lin SH, Li P, Huang WL, Chen CY.. Prevalent hallucinations during medical internships: phantom vibration and ringing syndromes. PLoS One (2013) 8(6):e65152.10.1371/journal.pone.0065152 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
44. Ali M, Asim M, Danish SH, Ahmad F, Iqbal A, Hasan SD. Frequency of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis and its association with SMS texting muscle. Ligaments Tendons J (2014) 4:74–8. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
45. Billieux J, Van Der Linden M, Rochat L. The role of impulsivity in actual and problematic use of the mobile phone. Appl Cogn Psychol (2008) 22:1195–210.10.1002/acp.1429 [Cross Ref]
46. Echeburúa E. ¿Adicciones sin drogas? Bilbao: Desclée de Brouwer; (1999).
47. Griffiths MD. Does Internet and computer ‘addiction’ exist? Some case study evidence. Cyberpsychol Behav (2000) 3:211–8.10.1089/109493100316067 [Cross Ref]
48. Washton AM, Boundy D. Querer no espoder.Cómo comprender y superar las adicciones. Barcelona: Paidós; (1991).
49. Labrador Encinas J, Villadangos González SM. Menores y nuevas tecnologías: Conductas indicadoras de posible problema de adicción. Psicothema (2010) 22:180–8.10.20882/adicciones.107 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
50. Sanchez-Carbonell X, Beranuy M, Castellana M, Chamarro A, Oberst U. La adicción a Internet y al móvil. ¿Moda o trastorno? Adicciones (2008) 20:149–60.10.20882/adicciones.279 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
51. Backer-Grondahl A, Sagberg F. Driving and telephoning: relative accident risk when using hand-held and hands-free mobile phones. Saf Sci (2011) 49:324–30.10.1016/j.ssci.2010.09.009 [Cross Ref]
52. Chesley N. Blurring boundaries? Linking technology use, spillover, individual distress and family satisfaction. J Marriage Fam (2005) 67:1237–48.10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00213.x [Cross Ref]
53. Castellana Rosell M, Sanchez-Carbonell X, Graner Jordana C, Beranuy Fargues M. El adolescente ante las tecnologías de la información: Internet, móvil y videojuegos. Papeles del Psicólogo (2007) 28:196–204.
54. Chóliz M. Mobile-phone addiction in adolescence: the test of mobile phone dependence (TMD). Prog Health Sci (2012) 2:33–44.
55. Sansone RA, Sansone LA.. Cell phones: the psychosocial risks. Innov Clin Neurosci (2013) 10:33–7. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
56. Sahin S, Ozdemir K, Unsal A, Temiz N.. Evaluation of mobile phone addiction level and sleep quality in university students. Pak J Med Sci (2013) 29:913–8.10.12669/pjms.294.3686 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
57. Leung L. Leisure, boredom, sensation seeking, self-esteem, addiction symptoms and patterns of cell phone use. In: Konijn EA, Tanis MA, Utz S, Linden A, editors. , editors. Mediated Interpersonal Communication. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Eribaum Associates; (2007). p. 359–81.
58. Jones T. Students’ cell phone addiction and their opinions. Elon J Undergrad Res Commun (2014) 5:74–80.
59. Chóliz M, Villanueva V, Chóliz MC. Ellas, ellos y su móvil: Uso y abuso (¿y dependencia?) del teléfono móvil en la adolescencia. Revista Española de Drogodependencias (2009) 34:74–88.
60. Kwon M, Lee JY, Won WY, Park JW, Min JA, Hahn C, et al. Development and validation of a smartphone addiction scale (SAS). PLoS One (2013) 8:e56936.10.1371/journal.pone.0056936 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
61. Chóliz M, Villanueva V. Evaluación de adicción al móvil en la adolescencia. Revista Española de Drogodependencias (2011) 36:165–84.
62. Ha J, Chin B, Park D, Ryu S, Yu J.. Characteristics of excessive cellular phone use in Korean adolescents. Cyberpsychol Behav (2008) 11:783–4.10.1089/cpb.2008.0096 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
63. Fondevila Gascon JC, Carreras Alcalde M, Del Olmo Arriaga JL, Pesqueira Zamora MJ. El impacto de la mensajería instantánea en los estudiantes en forma de estrés y ansiedad para el aprendizaje. Didáctica, innovación y multimedia (2014) 30:1–15.
64. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). 5th ed Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association Publishing; (2013).
65. Chóliz M. Mobile phoneaddiction: a point of issue. Addiction (2010) 105:373–4.10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02854.x [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
66. Chóliz M, Villanueva V. Questionnaire of dependence of mobile phone: psychometric properties and gender differences. 11th European Congress of Psychology; Jul 7-10. Oslo: (2009).
67. Toda M, Monden K, Kubo K, Morimoto K. Mobile phone dependence and health-related lifestyle of university students. Soc Behav Pers (2006) 34:1277–84.10.2224/sbp.2006.34.10.1277 [Cross Ref]
68. Beranuy Fargues M, Sanchez Carbonell X, Graner Jordania C, Castellana Rosell M, Chamarro Lusar A. Uso y abuso del teléfono móvil en jóvenes y adolescentes. Comunicación presentada en XXI Congreso Internacional de Comunicación; Nov 9-10. Pamplona: (2006).
69. Jenaro C, Flores N, Gomez-Vela M, Gonzalez-Gil F, Caballo C. Problematic Internet and cell-phone use: psychological, behavioral and health correlates. Addict Res Theory (2007) 15:309–20.10.1080/16066350701350247 [Cross Ref]
70. Perry SD, Lee KC. Mobile phone text messaging overuse among developing world university students. S Afr J Commun Theory Res (2007) 33:63–79.10.1177/0081246314566022 [Cross Ref]
71. Instituto De Adicciones. Estudio de uso problemático de las tecnologías de la información, la comunicación y el juego entre los adolescentes y jóvenes de la ciudad de Madrid. Instituto de Adicciones de Madrid Salud, Madrid Salud: Evaluación y Calidad; (2008). Available from: www.madridsalud.es
72. Leung L. Linking psychological attributes to addiction and improper use of the mobile phone among adolescents in Hong Kong. J Child and Media (2008) 2:93–113.10.1080/17482790802078565 [Cross Ref]
73. Koo HY. Development of a cell phone addiction scale for Korean adolescents. J Korean Acad Nurs (2009) 39:818–28.10.4040/jkan.2009.39.6.818 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
74. Sanchez Martinez M, Otero A.. Factors associated with cell phone use in adolescents in the community of Madrid (Spain). Cyberpsychol Behav (2009) 12:131–7.10.1089/cpb.2008.0164 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
75. Beranuy Fargues M, Chamarro Lusar A, Graner Jordania C, Carbonell Sanchez X. Validación de dos escalas breves para evaluar la adicción a Internet y el abuso del móvil. Psicothema (2009) 21:480–5. [PubMed]
76. Koo HY. Cell phone addiction in highschool students and its predictors. J Korean Acad Child Health Nurs (2010) 16:203–10.10.4094/jkachn.2010.16.3.203 [Cross Ref]
77. Halayem S, Nouira O, Bourgou S, Bouden A, Othman S, Halayem M. Le Téléphone Portable: une nouvelle Addictionchez les Adolescents. Tunis Med (2010) 88:593–6. [PubMed]
78. Ruiz-Olivares R, Lucena V, Pino MJ, Herruzo J. Análisis de comportamientos relacionados con el uso/abuso de Internet, teéfono móvil, compras y juego en estudiantes universitarios. Adicciones (2010) 22:301–10.10.20882/adicciones.171 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
79. Lu X, Watanabe J, Liu Q, Uji M, Shono M, Kitamura T. Internet and mobile phone text-messaging dependency: factor structure and correlation with dysphoric mood among Japanese adults. Comput Human Behav (2011) 27:1702–9.10.1016/j.chb.2011.02.009 [Cross Ref]
80. Martinotti G, Villella C, Di Thiene D, Di Nicola M, Bria P, Conte G, et al. Problematic mobile phone use in adolescence: a cross-sectional study. J Public Health (2011) 19:545–51.10.1007/s10389-011-0422-6 [Cross Ref]
81. Lopez-Fernandez O, Honrubia-Serrano ML, Freixa-Blanxart M. Adaptación española del ‘Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale’ para población adolescente. Adicciones (2012) 24:123–30.10.20882/adicciones.104 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
82. Lopez-Fernandez O, Honrubia-Serrano L, Freixa-Blanxart M, Gibson W. Prevalence of problematic mobile phone use in British adolescents. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw (2013) 10:1–8.
83. Mazaheri MA, Najarkolaei FR. Cell phone and Internet addiction among Students in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences (Iran). J Health Policy Sustain Health (2014) 1:101–5.
84. Tavakolizadeh J, Atarodi A, Ahmadpour S, Pourgheisar A. The prevalence of excessive mobile phone use and its relation with mental health status and demographic factors among the students of Gonabad University of Medical Sciences in 2011-2012. Razavi Int J Med (2014) 2(1):e15527.10.5812/rijm.15527 [Cross Ref]
85. Shin LY. A comparative study of mobile internet usage between the US and Korea. J Eur Psychol Stud (2014) 5:46–55.10.5334/jeps.cg [Cross Ref]
86. Kalhori SM, Mohammadi MR, Alavi SS, Jannatifard F, Sepahbodi G, Reisi MB, et al. Validation and psychometric properties of mobile phone problematic use scale (MPPUS) in the University Students of Tehran. Iran J Psychiatry (2015) 10:25–31. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
87. Toda M, Monden K, Kubo K, Morimoto K. Cellular phone dependence tendency of female university students. Jpn J Hyg (2004) 59:383–6.10.1265/jjh.59.383 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
88. Rutland JB, Sheets T, Young T.. Development of a scale to measure problem use of short message service: the SMS problem use diagnostic questionnaire. CyberPsychol Behav (2007) 10:841–3.10.1089/cpb.2007.9943 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
89. Igarashi T, Motoyoshi T, Takai J, Yoshida T. No mobile, no life: self-perception and text-message dependency among Japanese high school students. Comput Human Behav (2008) 24:2311–24.10.1016/j.chb.2007.12.001 [Cross Ref]
90. Yen CF, Tang TC, Yen JY, Lin HC, Huang CF, Liu SC, et al. Symptoms of problematic cellular phone use, functional impairment and its association with depression among adolescents in Southern Taiwan. J Adolesc (2009) 32:863–73.10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.10.006 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
91. Walsh SP, White KM, Young RM. Needing to connect: the impact of self and others on young people’s involvement with their mobile phone. Aust J Psychol (2010) 62:194–203.10.1080/00049530903567229 [Cross Ref]
92. Brown RIF. A theoretical model of the behavioural addictions – applied to offending. In: Hodge JE, McMurran M, Hollin CR, editors. , editors. Addicted to Crime. Glasgow: John Wiley & Sons Ltd; (1997). p. 13–65.
93. Walsh SP, White KM, Cox S, Young RM. Keeping in constant touch: the predictors of young Australians’ mobile phone involvement. Comput Human Behav (2011) 27:333–42.10.1016/j.chb.2010.08.011 [Cross Ref]
94. Grellhesi M, Punyanunt-Carter NM. Using the uses and gratifications theory to understand gratifications sought through text messaging practices of male and female undergraduate students. Comput Human Behav (2012) 28:2175–81.10.1016/j.chb.2012.06.024 [Cross Ref]
95. Andreassen CS, Torsheim T, Brunborg GS, Pallesen S.. Development of a Facebook addiction scale. Psychol Rep (2012) 110:501–17.10.2466/02.09.18.PR0.110.2.501-517 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
96. Hong FY, Chiu SI, Huang DH. A model of the relationship between psychological characteristics, mobile phone addiction and use of mobile phones by Taiwanese university female students. Comput Human Behav (2012) 28:2152–9.10.1016/j.chb.2012.06.020 [Cross Ref]
97. Young KS. Internet addiction: the emergence of a new clinical disorder. Cyberpsychol Behav (2008) 1:237–44.10.1089/cpb.1998.1.237 [Cross Ref]
98. Merlo LJ, Stone AM, Bibbey A.. Measuring problematic mobile phone use: development and preliminary psychometric properties of the PUMP scale. J Addict (2013) 2013:912807.10.1155/2013/912807 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
99. King ALS, Valença AM, Silva AC, Sancassiani F, Machado S, Nardi AE. “Nomophobia”: impact of cell phone use interfering with symptoms and emotions of individuals with panic disorder compared with a control group. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health (2014) 10:28–35.10.2174/1745017901410010028 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
100. Zhou Y, Zhang X, Liang JC, Tsai CC. The relationship between parents addicted to mobile phone and adolescent addicted to Internet. In: Liu C-C, et al., editors. , editors. Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Computers in Education Japan: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education (2014). p. 484–8. Available from: http://icce2014.jaist.ac.jp/icce2014/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ICCE2014-workshop-proceedings-lite-2.pdf
101. Widyanto L, McMurran M. The psichometric properties of the Internet addiction test. Cyberpsychol Behav (2004) 7:443–50.10.1089/cpb.2004.7.443 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
102. Lin YH, Chang LR, Lee YH, Tseng HW, Kuo TB, Chen SH.. Development and validation of the smartphone addiction inventory (SPAI). PLoS One (2014) 9(6):e98312.10.1371/journal.pone.0098312 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
103. Chen SH, Weng LJ, Su YJ, Wu HM, Yang PF. Development of Chinese Internet Addiction Scale and its psychometric study. Chin J Psychol (2003) 45:251–66.10.1007/s10802-014-9851-3 [Cross Ref]
104. Bouazza A, Al-Barashdi H, Al Zubaidi AQ. Devolpment and validation of a smartphone addiction questionnnaire (SPAQ).global illuminators. TMBER (2015) 2:58–68.
105. Kandell JJ. Internet addiction on campus: the vulnerability of college students. CyberPsychol Behav (1998) 1:11–7.10.1089/cpb.1998.1.11 [Cross Ref]
106. Lin JC. Popularity, funding for health-effect research and cell-phone addiction. Antennas Propag Mag (2010) 52:164–6.10.1109/MAP.2010.5525611 [Cross Ref]
107. Potenza MN.. Should addictive disorders include non-substance-related conditions? Addiction (2006) 101:142–51.10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01591.x [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
108. Grant JE, Potenza MN, Weinstein A, Gorelick DA. Introduction to behavioral addictions. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse (2011) 36:233–41.10.3109/00952990.2010.491884 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
109. James D, Drennan D. “Exploring addictive consumption of mobile phone technology,” in ANZMAC 2005 Conference: Electronic Marketing Trabajo presentado en la Conferencia de la Academia Australiana y Neozelandesa de Marketing Perth, Australia (2005).
110. Moeller F, Barratt E, Dougerty DM, Schmitz JM, Swann AC. Psychiatric aspects of impulsivity. Am J Psychiatry (2001) 158:1783–93.10.1176/appi.ajp.158.11.1783 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
111. Karakus G, Taman L. Impulsive control disorder comorbidity among patients with bipolar disorder. Compr Psychiatry (2011) 52:378–85.10.1016/j.comppsych.2010.08.004 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
112. Chen YF. Social phenomena of mobile phone use: an exploratory study in Taiwanese college students. J Cyberculture Inform Soc (2006) 11:219–44.
113. Hashem ME. Impact and implications of new information technology on Middle Eastern youth. Glob Media J Am Edition (2009) 8:1–25.
114. Boase J, Ling R. Measuring mobile phone use: self-report versus log data. J Comput Mediated Commun (2013) 18:508–19.10.1111/jcc4.12021 [Cross Ref]
115. Montag C, Blaszkiewicz K, Lachmann B, Sariyska R, Andone I, Trendafilov B, et al. Recorded behavior as a valuable resource for diagnostics in mobile phone addiction: evidence from psychoinformatics. Behav Sci (2015) 5:434–42.10.3390/bs5040434 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
116. Walsh SP, White KM, Young RM.. Over-connected? A qualitative exploration of the relationship between Australian youth and their mobile phones. J Adolesc (2008) 31:77–92.10.1016/j.adolescence.2007.04.004 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
117. Cuesta U, Gaspar S. Análisis motivacional del uso del smartphone entre jóvenes: Una investigación cualitativa. Historia y Comunicación Social (2013) 18:435–47.10.5209/rev_HICS.2013.v18.44252 [Cross Ref]
118. Kuss DJ, Griffiths MD. Online social networking and addiction – a review of the psychological literature. Int J Environ Res Public Health (2011) 8:3528–52.10.3390/ijerph8093528 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
119. Giota K, Kleftaras G. The role of personality and depression in problematic use of social networking sites in Greece. Cyberpsychology (2013) 7:6.10.5817/CP2013-3-6 [Cross Ref]
120. Alavi SS, Maracy MR, Jannatifard F, Ojaghi R, Rezapour H.. The psychometric properties of cellular phone dependency questionnaire in students of Isfahan: a pilot study. J Educ Health Promot (2014) 3:71.10.4103/2277-9531.134822 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
121. Ahmed I, Fiaz Qazi T, Aijaz Perji K. Mobile phone to youngsters: necessity or addiction. Afr J Bus Manag (2011) 5:12512–9.10.5897/AJBM11.626 [Cross Ref]
122. Hassanzadeh R, Rezaei A. Effect of sex, course and age on SMS addiction in students. Middle East J Sci Res (2011) 10:619–25.
123. Igarashi T, Takai J, Yoshida T. Gender differences in social network development via mobile phone text messages: a longitudinal study. J Soc Pers Relat (2005) 22:691–713.10.1177/0265407505056492 [Cross Ref]
124. Jimenez-Albiar MI, Piqueras J, Mateu-Martinez O, Carballo JL, Orgiles M, Espada JP. Diferencias de sexo, características de personalidad y afrontamiento en el uso de Internet, el móvil y los video-juegos en la adolescencia. Health Addict (2012) 12:61–82.
125. Yoo YS, Cho OH, Cha KS.. Associations between overuse of the Internet and mental health in adolescents. Nurs Health Sci (2014) 16:193–200.10.1111/nhs.12086 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
126. Billieux J, Van Der Linden M, D’Acremont M, Ceschi G, Zermatten A. Does impulsivity relate to the perceived dependence on actual use of the mobile phone? Appl Cogn Psychol (2007) 21:527–37.10.1002/acp.1289 [Cross Ref]
127. Billieux J. Problematic use of the mobile phone use: a literature review and the pathways model. Curr Psychiatry Rev (2012) 8:1–9.10.2174/157340012803520522 [Cross Ref]
128. Terraccianio A, Löckenhoff CE, Crum RM, Bienvenu OJ, Costa PT.. Five-factor model personality profiles of drug users. BMC Psychiatry (2008) 8:22.10.1186/1471-244X-8-22 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
129. Takao M.. Problematic mobile phone use and big-five personality domains. Indian J Community Med (2014) 39:111–3.10.4103/0970-0218.132736 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
130. Costa PT, McCrae RR. NEO PI-R Professional Manual. Odessa, TX: Psychological Assesment Resources; (1992).
131. Heatherton TF, Polivy J. Development and validation of a scale for measuring state self-esteem. J Personal Soc Psychol (1991) 60:895–910.10.1037/0022-3514.60.6.895 [Cross Ref]
132. Wilson K, Fornasier S, White KM. Psychological predictors of young adults’ use of social network sites. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw (2010) 13:173–7.10.1089/cyber.2009.0094 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
133. Puerta-Cortes DX, Carbonell X. El modelo de los cinco grandes factores de personalidad y el uso problemático de Internet en jóvenes colombianos. Adicciones (2014) 26:54–61.10.20882/adicciones.131 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
134. Correa T, Hinsley AW, De Zuñiga HG. Who interacts on the Web? The intersection of users’ personality and social media use. Comput Human Behav (2010) 26:247–53.10.1016/j.chb.2009.09.003 [Cross Ref]
135. Garcia Del Castillo JA, Terol MC, Nieto M, Lledo A, Sanchez S, et al. Uso y abuso de Internet en jóvenes universitarios. Adicciones (2007) 20:131–42.10.20882/adicciones.277 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
136. De Sola Gutierrez J, Rubio Valladolid G, Rodriguez De Fonseca F. La impulsividad: ¿Antesala de las adicciones comportamentales? Health Addict (2013) 13:145–55.
137. De Sola Gutierrez J. ¿Qué es una adicción? Desde las adicciones con sustancias a las adicciones comportamentales. Evaluación e Intervención terapéutica. Revista Digital de Medicina Psicosomática y Psicoterapia (2014) 4:1–28.
138. Whiteside SP, Lynam RD. The five factor model and impulsivity: using a structural model of personality to understand impulsivity. Pers Individ Dif (2001) 30:669–89.10.1016/S0191-8869(00)00064-7 [Cross Ref]
139. Zuckerman M. Development of a sensation-seeking scale. J Consult Psychol (1964) 28:477–82.10.1037/h0040995 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
140. Zuckerman M, Bone R, Neary R, Mangelsdorff D, Brustman B. What is the sensation seeker? Personality trait and experience correlates of the sensation seeking scales. J Consult Clin Psychol (1972) 39:308–21.10.1037/h0033398 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
141. Myrseth H, Tverá R, Hagatun S, Lindgren C.. A comparison of impulsivity and sensation seeking in pathological gamblers and skydivers. Scand J Psychol (2012) 53:340–6.10.1111/j.1467-9450.2012.00944.x [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
142. Iso-Ahola SE, Weissinger E. Perceptions of boredom in leisure: conceptualization, reliability and validity of the leisure boredom scale. J Leisure Res (1990) 22:1–17.
143. Zuckerman M, Eysenck S, Eysenck HJ. Sensation-seeking in England and America: cross-cultural, age, and sex comparisons. J Consult Clin Psychol (1978) 46:139–49.10.1037/0022-006X.46.1.139 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
144. Kivimaki M, Kalimo R.. Self-esteem and the occupational stress process testing two alternative models in a sample of blue-collar workers. J Occup Health Psychol (1996) 1:187–96.10.1037/1076-8998.1.2.187 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
145. Takao M, Takahashi S, Kitamura M.. Addictive personality and problematic mobile phone use. Cyberpsychol Behav (2009) 12:1–9.10.1089/cpb.2009.0022 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
146. Chen YF. The Mobile Phone and Socialization: The Consequences of Mobile Phone Use in Transitions from Family to School Life of U.S. College Students. Ph.D. Thesis, Rutgers University of New Jersey, New Brunswick: (2007).
147. Bhardwaj M, Ashok MSJ. Mobile phone addiction and loneliness among teenagers. Int J Indian Psychol (2015) 2:27–34.
148. Caplan SE.. Relations among loneliness, social anxiety, and problematic Internet use. Cyberpsychol Behav (2007) 10:234–42.10.1089/cpb.2006.9963 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
149. Park N, Hwang Y, Huh E. Exploring problematic mobile phone use: relationships between adolescents’ characteristics and mobile phone addiction. Paper presentado en el annual Meeting of the International Communication Association. Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre; Jun 21. Suntec City (2010).
150. Bowlby J. A Secure Base: Clinical Applications of Attachment Theory. London: Routledge; (1988).
151. Collins NL, Read SJ. Adult attachment, working models and relationships quality in dating couples. J Pers Soc Psychol (1990) 58:644–63.10.1037/0022-3514.58.4.644 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
152. Allen JP, Hauser ST, Bell KL, O’Connor TG.. Longitudinal assessment of autonomy and relatedness in adolescent-family interactions as predictors of adolescent ego development and self-esteem. Child Dev (1994) 65:179–94.10.2307/1131374 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
153. Buysse DJ, Reynolds CF, Monk TH, Berman SR, Kupfer DJ. The Pittisburgh sleep quality index: a new instrument for psychiatric practice and research. Psychiatry Res (1989) 28:193–213.10.1016/0165-1781(89)90047-4 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
154. Thomée S, Eklöf M, Gustafsson E, Nilsson R, Hagberg M. Prevalence of perceived stress, symptoms of depression and sleep disturbances in relation to information and communication technology (ICT) use among young adults. An explorative prospective study. Comput Human Behav (2007) 23:1300–21.10.1016/j.chb.2004.12.007 [Cross Ref]
155. Thomée S, Härenstam A, Hagberg M. Mobile phone use and stress sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults – a prospective cohort study. BMC Public Health (2011) 31(11):66.10.1186/1471-2458-11-66 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
156. Alavi SS, Ferdosi M, Jannatifard F, Eslami M, Alaghemandan H, Setare M.. Behavioral addiction versus substance addiction: correspondence of psychiatric and psychological views. Int J Prev Med (2012) 3:290–4. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
157. De La Puente MP, Balmori A. Addiction to cell phones. Are there neurophysiological mechanisms involved? Proyecto (2007) 61:8–12.
158. Lee J, Hwang JY, Park SM, Jung HY, Choi SW, Kim DJ, et al. Differential resting-state EEG patterns associated with comorbid depression in Internet addiction. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry (2014) 50:21–6.10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.11.016 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
159. Augner C, Hacker GW. Associations between problematic mobilephone use and psychological parameters in young adults. Int J Public Health (2011) 57:437–41.10.1007/s00038-011-0234-z [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
160. Babadi-Akashe Z, Zamani BE, Abedini Y, Akbari H, Hedayati N.. The relationship between mental health and addiction to mobile phones among university students of Shahrekord, Iran. Addict Health (2014) 6:93–9. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
161. Chen YF. The relationship of mobile phone use to addiction and depression amongst American college students. Mob Commun Soc Change (2004) 10:344–52.
162. Young KS, Rodgers RC. The relationship between depression and Internet addiction. Cyberpsychol Behav (2009) 1:25–8.10.1089/cpb.1998.1.25 [Cross Ref]