Psychiatry Res. 2019 Feb 28;275:46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.02.071.
To provide appropriate solutions for problematic smartphone use, we need to first understand its types. This study aimed to identify types of problematic smartphone use based on psychiatric symptoms, using the decision tree method. We recruited 5,372 smartphone users from online surveys conducted between February 3 and February 22, 2016. Based on scores on the Korean Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale for Adults (S-Scale), 974 smartphone users were assigned to the smartphone-dependent group and 4398 users were assigned to the normal group. The data-mining technique of C5.0 decision tree was applied. We used 15 input variables, including demographic and psychological factors. Four psychiatric variables emerged as the most important predictors: self-control (Sc; 66%), anxiety (Anx; 25%), depression (Dep; 7%), and dysfunctional impulsivities (Imp; 3%). We identified the following five types of problematic smartphone use: (1) non-comorbid, (2) self-control, (3) Sc + Anx, (4) Sc + Anx + Dep, and (5) Sc + Anx + Dep + Imp. We found that 74% of smartphone-dependent users had psychiatric symptoms. The ratio of participants belonging to the non-comorbid and self-control types was 64%. We proposed that these types of problematic smartphone use may be used for the development of an appropriate service for controlling and preventing such behaviors in adults.
KEYWORDS: Brief Self-control Scale; C5.0 algorithm; Decision tree analysis; Dickman Impulsivity Inventory-short version; GAD-7 scale; Generalized anxiety disorder; Korean Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale for Adults; Patient Health Questionnaire-9