J Behav Addict. 2017 Mar 1;6(1):84-91. doi: 10.1556/2006.6.2017.016.
Background and aims
Smartphones are ubiquitous. As smartphones increased in popularity, researchers realized that people were becoming dependent on their smartphones. The purpose here was to provide a better understanding of the factors related to problematic smartphone use (PSPU).
The participants were 100 undergraduates (25 males, 75 females) whose ages ranged from 18 to 23 (mean age = 20 years). The participants completed questionnaires to assess gender, ethnicity, year in college, father’s education level, mother’s education level, family income, age, family history of alcoholism, and PSPU. The Family Tree Questionnaire assessed family history of alcoholism. The Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale (MPPUS) and the Adapted Cell Phone Addiction Test (ACPAT) were used to determine the degree of PSPU. Whereas the MPPUS measures tolerance, escape from other problems, withdrawal, craving, and negative life consequences, the ACPAT measures preoccupation (salience), excessive use, neglecting work, anticipation, lack of control, and neglecting social life.
Family history of alcoholism and father’s education level together explained 26% of the variance in the MPPUS scores and 25% of the variance in the ACPAT scores. The inclusion of mother’s education level, ethnicity, family income, age, year in college, and gender did not significantly increase the proportion of variance explained for either MPPUS or ACPAT scores.
Discussion and conclusions
Family history of alcoholism and father’s education level are good predictors of PSPU. As 74%-75% of the variance in PSPU scale scores was not explained, future studies should aim to explain this variance.
KEYWORDS: Adapted Cell Phone Addiction Test; Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale; behavioral addiction; family history; parents’ education; problematic smartphone use