Psychological Factors Associated With Smartphone Addiction in South Korean Adolescents (2018)

Lee, Jeewon, Min-Je Sung, Sook-Hyung Song, Young-Moon Lee, Je-Jung Lee, Sun-Mi Cho, Mi-Kyung Park, and Yun-Mi Shin.

The Journal of Early Adolescence 38, no. 3 (2018): 288-302.


The smartphone has many attractive attributes and characteristics that could make it highly addictive, particularly in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of young adolescents in risk of smartphone addiction and the psychological factors associated with smartphone addiction. Four hundred ninety middle school students completed a self-questionnaire measuring levels of smartphone addiction, behavioral and emotional problems, self-esteem, anxiety, and adolescent-parent communication. One hundred twenty-eight (26.61%) adolescents were in high risk of smartphone addiction. This latter group showed significantly more severe levels of behavioral and emotional problems, lower self-esteem, and poorer quality of communication with their parents. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the severity of smartphone addiction is significantly associated with aggressive behavior (β = .593, t = 3.825) and self-esteem (β = −.305, t = −2.258). Further exploratory and confirmatory studies should consider different sites, demographics, technological mobile devices, platforms, and applications.

Keywords adolescent, smartphone addiction, psychological factor, self-esteem, aggressive behavior