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Studies on the Relationship between Social Anxiety and Excessive Smartphone Use and on the Effects of Abstinence and Sensation Seeking on Excessive Smartphone Use

Department of Behavioral Science, Ariel University, Science Park, Ariel 40700, Israel
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041262 (registering DOI)
Received: 25 December 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 12 February 2020 / Published: 15 February 2020
Problematic smartphone use is the excessive use of the smartphone with negative impacts on the quality of life of the user. We investigated the association between social anxiety and excessive smartphone use. The sample consisted of 140 participants, 73 male and 67 female university students with a mean age of 26 years and 4 months (SD = 3.38), who filled in the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale and the Smartphone Addiction Scale (SAS). Results showed a positive association between social anxiety and excessive smartphone use. Social anxiety explained 31.5% of the variance of ratings on the SAS. A second study investigated the interaction between abstinence and sensation seeking and excessive smartphone use. The sample consisted of 60 participants, 44 female and 16 male university students. The sample was divided into two experimental conditions: 30 participants were abstinent for 1.5 h from the smartphone and 30 participants were non-abstinent. Results showed that excessive smartphone use increased in the group that abstained compared to those who did not. Secondly, participants who had high baseline sensation-seeking ratings had higher scores of excessive smartphone use after abstinence compared with those with low ratings of sensation seeking. These studies indicate the contribution of social anxiety to problematic smartphone use and how it can be exacerbated by the combination of abstinence and high sensation seeking.
Keywords: smartphone use; social anxiety; abstinence; sensation seeking smartphone use; social anxiety; abstinence; sensation seeking
MDPI and ACS Style

Turgeman, L.; Hefner, I.; Bazon, M.; Yehoshua, O.; Weinstein, A. Studies on the Relationship between Social Anxiety and Excessive Smartphone Use and on the Effects of Abstinence and Sensation Seeking on Excessive Smartphone Use. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1262.

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