Epidemiology of technology addiction among school students in rural India (2019)

Asian J Psychiatr. 2019 Jan 24;40:30-38. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2019.01.009.

Jamir L1, Duggal M1, Nehra R2, Singh P3, Grover S4.



Penetration of mobile technology is rapidly rising. Excessive use leads to Technology addiction, which often start early in adolescence. The purpose of the present study was to assess Technology addiction and its correlates among school students in rural India.


This cross sectional study was conducted among 885 school students in north India. Four schools were selected and participants aged 13-18 years, were enrolled randomly. A self-designed 45 item questionnaire was used to evaluate dependence syndrome (intense desire, impaired control, tolerance, withdrawal, persistence despite harm, neglect of alternate pleasure) as used for substance dependence in ICD-10. Screening for depression and anxiety was done by using patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) and generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7) respectively. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were done.


The mean age of the study participants was 15.1 years. Among the participants, 30.3% (95% Confidence Interval = 27.2%-33.3%) met the dependence criteria. One-third (33%) of the students stated that their grades had gone down due to gadget use. Technology addiction was more among male students (odds ratio = 2.82, 95% CI = 1.43, 5.59), those having a personal mobile phone (2.98, (1.52-5.83), use smart phone (2.77, 1.46-5.26), use one additional gadget (2.12, 1.14-3.94) and those who were depressed (3.64, 2.04-6.49).


Increased mobile phone access in rural India is leading to technology addiction among school students. Certain demographic and gadget specific factors predict addiction. The technology addiction possibly contributes to poor academic performance and depression. This warrants studies on a larger scale, with interventions for judicious use of gadgets.

KEYWORDS: Adolescent mental health; Internet overuse; School health; Technology addiction; mobile phone dependence

PMID: 30716701

DOI: 10.1016/j.ajp.2019.01.009