Special Issue "Internet and Mobile Phone Addiction: Health and Educational Effects"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Olatz Lopez-Fernandez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Senior Lecturer, Turning Point, Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, 110 Church Street, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia
Interests: addictive behaviours; behavioural addictions; general online addictive behaviours (e.g., internet addiction; problem mobile phone use); specific online addictive behaviours (e.g., gaming, social networking, cybersex); gender issues (e.g., female, male); lifespan issues (e.g., children, elderly); educational technology (e.g., educative innovations; higher education; online learning and teaching; ePortfolios); e-health (e.g., healthcare practices for behavioural addictions, mhealth, serious games)
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A Special Issue on health and educational effects due to excessive Internet or mobile phone use (among other technological devices, applications, and factors promoting these emergent behavioural problems, basically promoted as being excessively connected online), in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, is being organized. For detailed information on the journal, I refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2013), apart from gambling, other non-substance or behavioural addictions, have been considered, such as Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD). This proposed addictive disorder was included in the appendix of the current fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), and can be classed as a future mental psychiatric illness if empirical research supports it. Similarly, the World Health Organisation (WHO, 2014) has included Gaming Disorder (GD) in the latest beta draft of the following eleventh International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) with a clinical description and diagnosis guidelines discussed with international experts on Internet Use Disorder (IUD) and behavioural addictions. Furthermore, WHO has provided a report regarding public health implications of the excessive use of Internet and smartphones, among other electronic devices (WHO, 2014). Therefore, APA and WHO are considering the inclusion of other sub-syndromal behavioural addictions or namely ‘Disorders Due to Addictive Behaviours’ (e.g., hypersexual disorder) with online and/or offline settings. The number of these information and communication technologies (ICT), such as Internet and mobile technologies are expected to rise in the next years according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU, 2015), an agency of the United Nations (UN), coordinating telecommunication operations and services throughout the world. However, we still do not know the potential number of people that already have or could develop these behavioural addictions through technologies per country. From an educational approach, the Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA), managed by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCDE, 2015), is observing that off-line and online behaviours (e.g., digital vs. print reading) are quite variable intra-country and between-countries. This seems to affect the behaviour of browsing relative to effective navigation behaviour. The risk of these addictive and related Internet problems in educational settings, especially through smartphone use, has received increasing attention. As a result, disordered addictive behaviours supported by technologies, such as the Internet and mobile phones, have drawn interest, internationally, from different sectors. Firstly, in health care and social work, as a public health issue, and, secondly, in education, especially in secondary and tertiary levels, promoting ICT skills, teaching and learning processes through technologies.

Researchers and practitioners in this field have also been looking at advances in these potential behavioural addictions with respect to care, management, and prevention, including diagnosis, treatment, and co-morbidity. Developing strategies for reducing risk factors, which predispose the population, and understanding the nature of these problems (as a real addiction, as a form of copying other problems, as a developmental problem, as a contextual problem developed for the educational and professional demands) in terms of public health and educational impact of the condition is needed.

This Special Issue is dedicated to the subject area of these potential, Internet-related problems using technologies, such as computers and smartphones in relation to health and educational effects. The keywords listed below provide an outline of some of the possible areas of interest.

Dr. Olatz Lopez-Fernandez
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Internet addiction
  • Mobile phone (or smartphone) addiction
  • Gaming, cybersex, emotional dependence, and other potential behavioural disorders
  • Diagnosis, treatments, and psychotherapy for Internet related-problems
  • Epidemiological and prevalence studies
  • Educational, developmental, and psycho-sociological effects studies
  • Cross-sectional, cross-cultural, follow-ups and longitudinal studies

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Generalised Versus Specific Internet Use-Related Addiction Problems: A Mixed Methods Study on Internet, Gaming, and Social Networking Behaviours
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122913 - 19 Dec 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
The field of technological behavioural addictions is moving towards specific problems (i.e., gaming disorder). However, more evidence of generalised versus specific Internet use-related addiction problems (generalised pathological Internet use (GPIU) vs. specific pathological Internet use (SPIU)) is still needed. This mixed methods study [...] Read more.
The field of technological behavioural addictions is moving towards specific problems (i.e., gaming disorder). However, more evidence of generalised versus specific Internet use-related addiction problems (generalised pathological Internet use (GPIU) vs. specific pathological Internet use (SPIU)) is still needed. This mixed methods study aimed to disentangle GPIU from SPIU. A partially mixed sequential equal status study design (QUAN→QUAL) was undertaken. First, through an online survey, which adapted the compulsive Internet use scale (CIUS) for three types of problems (i.e., generalised Internet use, and specific online gaming and social networking). Second, potential problem users’ perceptions of the evolution of these problems (aetiology, development, consequences, and factors) were ascertained, through semi-structured interviews, together with their opinion on present Internet gaming disorder (IGD) criteria adapted to each problem studied. Findings showed the CIUS remains valid and reliable for GPIU and SPIUs examined; a prevalence between 10.8% and 37.4% was estimated for potential at-risk problem gamers and Internet users, respectively, who reported their preference for maintaining their virtual lives. Half of the sample had a risk of a unique or mixed profile of these problems. Moreover, device patterns, gender, and age issues emerged, such as problem gamers being proportionally equal male and female young or middle-aged adults. GPIU was highly associated with problem social networking use, and weakly with problematic gaming, but both SPIUs were independent. Concerning addictive symptoms, salience, deception, and tolerance required redefinition, especially for SPIUs, while better-valued IGD criteria applied to GPIU and SPIUs were: Risk relationships or opportunities, give up other activities, withdrawal, and continue despite problems. Thus, although problems studied are present as risk behaviours, SPIUs seem to cover the addictive symptomatology in those categorised as potential problem users, online gaming being the most severe behavioural addiction problem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of the Digital World for Early Childhood Services with Vulnerable Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112407 - 30 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Potentially addictive behaviours supported by the internet and mobile phones raise concerns in education services for early childhood. Although there is evidence that screen media can distract the attention of young children, there was a massive uptake of digital devices by early childhood [...] Read more.
Potentially addictive behaviours supported by the internet and mobile phones raise concerns in education services for early childhood. Although there is evidence that screen media can distract the attention of young children, there was a massive uptake of digital devices by early childhood centres (ECCs). We investigated practices of families (n = 85) and of six ECCs serving vulnerable children in New Zealand, many of whom are emergent bilinguals. Descriptions of the limited and exemplary choice of screen media of the ECCs include digital portfolios containing children’s learning stories in multiple languages illustrated with digital photos. This was facilitated by increasing partnership with the families and the inclusion of their languages in the physical and digital landscapes of the ECCs. However, these families and the ECCs are seeking additional guidance to face the complex challenges of the digital world. These early findings from our national research programme, A Better Start, E Tipu E Rea, already informed significant changes in the ECCs; we also identified the potential for young children to act as agents of change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fear of Missing Out as a Predictor of Problematic Social Media Use and Phubbing Behavior among Flemish Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102319 - 22 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) refers to feelings of anxiety that arise from the realization that you may be missing out on rewarding experiences that others are having. FOMO can be identified as an intra-personal trait that drives people to stay up to date of what [...] Read more.
Fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) refers to feelings of anxiety that arise from the realization that you may be missing out on rewarding experiences that others are having. FOMO can be identified as an intra-personal trait that drives people to stay up to date of what other people are doing, among others on social media platforms. Drawing from the findings of a large-scale survey study among 2663 Flemish teenagers, this study explores the relationships between FOMO, social media use, problematic social media use (PSMU) and phubbing behavior. In line with our expectations, FOMO was a positive predictor of both how frequently teenagers use several social media platforms and of how many platforms they actively use. FOMO was a stronger predictor of the use of social media platforms that are more private (e.g., Facebook, Snapchat) than platforms that are more public in nature (e.g., Twitter, Youtube). FOMO predicted phubbing behavior both directly and indirectly via its relationship with PSMU. These findings support extant research that points towards FOMO as a factor explaining teenagers’ social media use. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting the Time Spent Playing Computer and Mobile Games among Medical Undergraduate Students Using Interpersonal Relations and Social Cognitive Theory: A Cross-Sectional Survey in Chongqing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081664 - 06 Aug 2018
Abstract
Background: Computer and mobile games are widely used among undergraduate students worldwide, especially in China. Our objective was to predict the time spent playing computer and mobile games based on interpersonal relations and social cognitive theory constructs (i.e., expectation, self-efficacy, and self-control). [...] Read more.
Background: Computer and mobile games are widely used among undergraduate students worldwide, especially in China. Our objective was to predict the time spent playing computer and mobile games based on interpersonal relations and social cognitive theory constructs (i.e., expectation, self-efficacy, and self-control). Methods: The cross-sectional survey was conducted in two medical universities using a sample of 1557 undergraduate students recruited by cluster sampling. The five-point Likert questionnaire was jointly developed by researchers from Chongqing Medical University and Jackson State University. Results: Approximately 30% and 70% of the students played computer and mobile games, respectively. The daily times spent by participants on computer games were 25.61 ± 73.60 min (weekdays) and 49.96 ± 128.60 min (weekends), and 66.07 ± 154.65 min (weekdays) and 91.82 ± 172.94 min (weekends) on mobile games. Students with high scores of interpersonal relations but low scores of self-efficacy spent prolonged time playing computer games on weekdays and weekends (p < 0.05 for all). Students with low scores of expectation spent prolonged time playing computer games on weekdays (p < 0.05). Students with high scores of interpersonal relations but low scores of self-efficacy and self-control spent prolonged time playing mobile games on weekdays and weekends (p < 0.05 for all). Conclusions: The prevalence and duration of playing mobile games were higher than those of playing computer games among medical undergraduate students in Chongqing, China. This study determined the interpersonal relations, self-efficacy, self-control, and expectation of the students at the time of playing computer and mobile games. Future studies may consider studying the interaction among game-related behaviours, environments, and personality characteristics. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Measurement Invariance of the Short Version of the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPUQ-SV) across Eight Languages
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061213 - 08 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The prevalence of mobile phone use across the world has increased greatly over the past two decades. Problematic Mobile Phone Use (PMPU) has been studied in relation to public health and comprises various behaviours, including dangerous, prohibited, and dependent use. These types of [...] Read more.
The prevalence of mobile phone use across the world has increased greatly over the past two decades. Problematic Mobile Phone Use (PMPU) has been studied in relation to public health and comprises various behaviours, including dangerous, prohibited, and dependent use. These types of problematic mobile phone behaviours are typically assessed with the short version of the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPUQ–SV). However, to date, no study has ever examined the degree to which the PMPU scale assesses the same construct across different languages. The aims of the present study were to (i) determine an optimal factor structure for the PMPUQ–SV among university populations using eight versions of the scale (i.e., French, German, Hungarian, English, Finnish, Italian, Polish, and Spanish); and (ii) simultaneously examine the measurement invariance (MI) of the PMPUQ–SV across all languages. The whole study sample comprised 3038 participants. Descriptive statistics, correlations, and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were extracted from the demographic and PMPUQ-SV items. Individual and multigroup confirmatory factor analyses alongside MI analyses were conducted. Results showed a similar pattern of PMPU across the translated scales. A three-factor model of the PMPUQ-SV fitted the data well and presented with good psychometric properties. Six languages were validated independently, and five were compared via measurement invariance for future cross-cultural comparisons. The present paper contributes to the assessment of problematic mobile phone use because it is the first study to provide a cross-cultural psychometric analysis of the PMPUQ-SV. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Personality Traits, Strategies for Coping with Stress and the Level of Internet Addiction—A Study of Polish Secondary-School Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050987 - 14 May 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Among the many contributing factors in addictions there are also those describing the individual characteristics and ways of dealing with various life challenges. Despite numerous studies in this area, there is still no unambiguous data on the nature and specificity of this relationship [...] Read more.
Among the many contributing factors in addictions there are also those describing the individual characteristics and ways of dealing with various life challenges. Despite numerous studies in this area, there is still no unambiguous data on the nature and specificity of this relationship in different age groups. The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between personality dimensions and strategies of coping with stress and the level of Internet addiction. The study was funded by the Ministry of Health under grant no. 93/HM/2015. The study was carried out in a group of 383 persons aged 15 to 19 (M = 16.6, SD = 0.77) attending secondary schools. The following research tools were used: Ten Item Personality Measure, Brief Cope and Internet Addiction Test. Both specific personality traits and styles of coping with stress are related to the addiction to the analysed medium. The personality traits most strongly associated with the risky Internet use were conscientiousness and emotional stability. An association was demonstrated between Internet addiction and the use of coping strategies, such as disengagement, substance use and self-blame. The results obtained demonstrate a major role of personality-related factors in the development of Internet addiction. The attitude to difficulties seems to be the key issue. The findings presented also make it possible to delineate the areas for improvement (e.g., through psychoeducational interventions) to protect young people from the risk of developing the addiction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Internet and Smartphone Addictions on Depression and Anxiety Based on Propensity Score Matching Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050859 - 25 Apr 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
The associations of Internet addiction (IA) and smartphone addiction (SA) with mental health problems have been widely studied. We investigated the effects of IA and SA on depression and anxiety while adjusting for sociodemographic variables. In this study, 4854 participants completed a cross-sectional [...] Read more.
The associations of Internet addiction (IA) and smartphone addiction (SA) with mental health problems have been widely studied. We investigated the effects of IA and SA on depression and anxiety while adjusting for sociodemographic variables. In this study, 4854 participants completed a cross-sectional web-based survey including socio-demographic items, the Korean Scale for Internet Addiction, the Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale, and the subscales of the Symptom Checklist 90 Items-Revised. The participants were classified into IA, SA, and normal use (NU) groups. To reduce sampling bias, we applied the propensity score matching method based on genetics matching. The IA group showed an increased risk of depression (relative risk 1.207; p < 0.001) and anxiety (relative risk 1.264; p < 0.001) compared to NUs. The SA group also showed an increased risk of depression (relative risk 1.337; p < 0.001) and anxiety (relative risk 1.402; p < 0.001) compared to NCs. These findings show that both, IA and SA, exerted significant effects on depression and anxiety. Moreover, our findings showed that SA has a stronger relationship with depression and anxiety, stronger than IA, and emphasized the need for prevention and management policy of the excessive smartphone use. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Phenotype Classification of Internet Use Disorder in a Large-Scale High-School Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040733 - 12 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Internet Use Disorder (IUD) affects numerous adolescents worldwide, and (Internet) Gaming Disorder, a specific subtype of IUD, has recently been included in DSM-5 and ICD-11. Epidemiological studies have identified prevalence rates up to 5.7% among adolescents in Germany. However, little is known about [...] Read more.
Internet Use Disorder (IUD) affects numerous adolescents worldwide, and (Internet) Gaming Disorder, a specific subtype of IUD, has recently been included in DSM-5 and ICD-11. Epidemiological studies have identified prevalence rates up to 5.7% among adolescents in Germany. However, little is known about the risk development during adolescence and its association to education. The aim of this study was to: (a) identify a clinically relevant latent profile in a large-scale high-school sample; (b) estimate prevalence rates of IUD for distinct age groups and (c) investigate associations to gender and education. N = 5387 adolescents out of 41 schools in Germany aged 11–21 were assessed using the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS). Latent profile analyses showed five profile groups with differences in CIUS response pattern, age and school type. IUD was found in 6.1% and high-risk Internet use in 13.9% of the total sample. Two peaks were found in prevalence rates indicating the highest risk of IUD in age groups 15–16 and 19–21. Prevalence did not differ significantly between boys and girls. High-level education schools showed the lowest (4.9%) and vocational secondary schools the highest prevalence rate (7.8%). The differences between school types could not be explained by academic level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Effect of Personality, Internet Literacy, and Use Expectancies in Internet-Use Disorder: A Comparative Study between China and Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040579 - 23 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Research on Internet-use Disorder (IUD) has increased rapidly, indicating its clinical and global importance. Past studies suggested cultural diversity regarding the prevalence of an IUD, e.g., between Asian and European countries. Additionally, it was found that personality factors, Internet-related cognitions and specific competences [...] Read more.
Research on Internet-use Disorder (IUD) has increased rapidly, indicating its clinical and global importance. Past studies suggested cultural diversity regarding the prevalence of an IUD, e.g., between Asian and European countries. Additionally, it was found that personality factors, Internet-related cognitions and specific competences seem to influence IUD tendencies, but research lacks in cultural comparative studies regarding these mechanisms. This study focuses on differences between Germany and China regarding the above-mentioned characteristics. German (n = 411; M = 20.70 years, SD = 3.34 years) and Chinese participants (n = 410; M = 20.72 years, SD = 2.65 years) answered the short Internet Addiction Test, Big Five Inventories, the Internet-use Expectancies Scale, as well as the Internet Literacy Questionnaire. The results revealed higher occurrence of IUD symptoms in China. Furthermore, Chinese participants scored significantly higher on neuroticism and agreeableness, whereas German participants scored higher on extraversion and openness. Compared to German participants, Chinese showed higher expectancies to avoid negative feelings online and to be positively reinforced. Regarding Internet literacy, German participants indicated higher skills concerning the reflection and critical analysis of online content, whereas Chinese showed higher expertise in producing and interacting online. Further, simple slope analyses indicated that certain Internet literacy domains were related differentially to IUD symptoms in Germany and China. While Chinese participants with higher reflective skills indicated highest IUD symptoms, reflective skills revealed no effect in Germany. Additionally, higher self-regulative skills correlated with lower IUD symptoms in the German, but not in the Chinese sample. The results give a hint to potential cultural differences regarding IUD, especially on the predictive and protective role of Internet literacy domains. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Problematic Use of the Internet and Smartphones in University Students: 2006–2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030475 - 08 Mar 2018
Cited by 16
Abstract
It has been more than a decade since a concern about the addictive use of the Internet and mobile phones was first expressed, and its possible inclusion into the lists of mental disorders has recently become a popular topic of scientific discussion. Thus, [...] Read more.
It has been more than a decade since a concern about the addictive use of the Internet and mobile phones was first expressed, and its possible inclusion into the lists of mental disorders has recently become a popular topic of scientific discussion. Thus, it seems to be a fitting moment to investigate the prevalence of this issue over time. The aim of the present study was to analyze the prevalence of the perception of problematic Internet and smartphone use in young people over the period 2006–2017. To this end, a questionnaire on Internet use habits and two questionnaires on the negative consequences of Internet and smartphone use were administered to a sample of 792 university students. The scores were then compared with the results of former studies that had used these questionnaires. The perception of problematic Internet and mobile phone use has increased over the last decade, social networks are considered responsible for this increase, and females are perceived to be more affected than males. The current study shows how strong smartphone and Internet addiction and social media overlap. Participants from 2017 report higher negative consequences of both Internet and mobile phone use than those from 2006, but long-term observations show a decrease in problematic use after a sharp increase in 2013. We conclude that the diagnosis of technological addictions is influenced by both time and social and culture changes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Impulsivity and Internet Gaming Disorder in Young Adults: Mediating Effects of Interpersonal Relationships and Depression
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030458 - 06 Mar 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to explore relationships between impulsivity, interpersonal relationships, depression, and Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) symptoms. Methods: A total of 118 young adults participated in this study: 67 IGD patients who met five or more of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to explore relationships between impulsivity, interpersonal relationships, depression, and Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) symptoms. Methods: A total of 118 young adults participated in this study: 67 IGD patients who met five or more of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for IGD and 56 healthy controls. We administered questionnaires to assess IGD symptoms (Young’s Internet Addiction Test; Y-IAT), impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale; BIS-11), interpersonal relationship (Relationship Change Scale; RCS), and depression (Beck Depression Inventory; BDI). We used PROCESS macro in SPSS to perform mediation analysis. Results: IGD symptom was positively related to depression and impulsivity, and negatively related to the quality of interpersonal relationships. Mediation analysis revealed full mediation effects of interpersonal relationships and depression on the association between impulsivity and IGD symptoms in the IGD group. Specifically, even after adjusting for gender as a covariate, high impulsivity was associated with greater difficulty with interpersonal relationships; which further affected depression and increased the risk of IGD. Conclusions: These results demonstrate the importance of early intervention in IGD patients, particularly in young adults with high impulsivity. When intervening in adults’ IGD, we should consider not only individual factors (e.g., depression) but also socioenvironmental factors (e.g., interpersonal relationships). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Problematic Smartphone Use: Investigating Contemporary Experiences Using a Convergent Design
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010142 - 16 Jan 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
Internet-enabled smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous in the Western world. Research suggests a number of problems can result from mobile phone overuse, including dependence, dangerous and prohibited use. For over a decade, this has been measured by the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPU-Q). [...] Read more.
Internet-enabled smartphones are increasingly ubiquitous in the Western world. Research suggests a number of problems can result from mobile phone overuse, including dependence, dangerous and prohibited use. For over a decade, this has been measured by the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPU-Q). Given the rapid developments in mobile technologies, changes of use patterns and possible problematic and addictive use, the aim of the present study was to investigate and validate an updated contemporary version of the PMPU-Q (PMPU-Q-R). A mixed methods convergent design was employed, including a psychometric survey (N = 512) alongside qualitative focus groups (N = 21), to elicit experiences and perceptions of problematic smartphone use. The results suggest the PMPU-Q-R factor structure can be updated to include smartphone dependence, dangerous driving, and antisocial smartphone use factors. Theories of problematic mobile phone use require consideration of the ubiquity and indispensability of smartphones in the present day and age, particularly regarding use whilst driving and in social interactions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Problematic Smartphone Use, Deep and Surface Approaches to Learning, and Social Media Use in Lectures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010092 - 08 Jan 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
Several studies have shown that problematic smartphone use (PSU) is related to detrimental outcomes, such as worse psychological well-being, higher cognitive distraction, and poorer academic outcomes. In addition, many studies have shown that PSU is strongly related to social media use. Despite this, [...] Read more.
Several studies have shown that problematic smartphone use (PSU) is related to detrimental outcomes, such as worse psychological well-being, higher cognitive distraction, and poorer academic outcomes. In addition, many studies have shown that PSU is strongly related to social media use. Despite this, the relationships between PSU, as well as the frequency of social media use in lectures, and different approaches to learning have not been previously studied. In our study, we hypothesized that both PSU and the frequency of social media use in lectures are negatively correlated with a deep approach to learning (defined as learning for understanding) and positively correlated with a surface approach to learning (defined as superficial learning). The study participants were 415 Estonian university students aged 19–46 years (78.8% females; age M = 23.37, SD = 4.19); the effective sample comprised 405 participants aged 19–46 years (79.0% females; age M = 23.33, SD = 4.21). In addition to basic socio-demographics, participants were asked about the frequency of their social media use in lectures, and they filled out the Estonian Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale and the Estonian Revised Study Process Questionnaire. Bivariate correlation analysis showed that PSU and the frequency of social media use in lectures were negatively correlated with a deep approach to learning and positively correlated with a surface approach to learning. Mediation analysis showed that social media use in lectures completely mediates the relationship between PSU and approaches to learning. These results indicate that the frequency of social media use in lectures might explain the relationships between poorer academic outcomes and PSU. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Gambling in the Media Related to Screens: Immersion as a Predictor of Excessive Use?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010058 - 02 Jan 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
This study investigates the intricacies between the player interface proposed by the screens, (in particular on smartphone applications or in video games) and gambling. Recent research indicates connections between “immersion” and excessive screen practice. We want to understand the causal-effects between online gambling [...] Read more.
This study investigates the intricacies between the player interface proposed by the screens, (in particular on smartphone applications or in video games) and gambling. Recent research indicates connections between “immersion” and excessive screen practice. We want to understand the causal-effects between online gambling and the “immersion” variable and understand their relationship and its contingencies. This article empirically investigates whether and how it is possible to observe immersion with its sub-dimensions in gambling on different screens. The objective of this study was to analyze: (1) the costs and benefits associated with gambling practice on screens (2) the link between gambling practice and screen practice (video game, Internet, mobile screen); (3) to observe the propensity to immersion for individuals practicing gambling on screens; and (4) to examine the comorbidities and cognitive factors associated with the practice of gambling on screen. A total of 432 adults (212 men, 220 women), recruited from Ile-de-France (France), responded to a battery of questionnaires. Our study suggests that immersion variables make it possible to understand the cognitive participation of individuals towards screens in general, the practice of gambling on screens and the excessive practice of screens. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Risk Factors for Internet Gaming Disorder: Psychological Factors and Internet Gaming Characteristics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010040 - 27 Dec 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Background: Understanding the risk factors associated with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is important to predict and diagnose the condition. The purpose of this study is to identify risk factors that predict IGD based on psychological factors and Internet gaming characteristics; Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Understanding the risk factors associated with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is important to predict and diagnose the condition. The purpose of this study is to identify risk factors that predict IGD based on psychological factors and Internet gaming characteristics; Methods: Online surveys were conducted between 26 November and 26 December 2014. There were 3568 Korean Internet game users among a total of 5003 respondents. We identified 481 IGD gamers and 3087 normal Internet gamers, based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria. Logistic regression analysis was applied to identify significant risk factors for IGD; Results: The following eight risk factors were found to be significantly associated with IGD: functional and dysfunctional impulsivity (odds ratio: 1.138), belief self-control (1.034), anxiety (1.086), pursuit of desired appetitive goals (1.105), money spent on gaming (1.005), weekday game time (1.081), offline community meeting attendance (2.060), and game community membership (1.393; p < 0.05 for all eight risk factors); Conclusions: These risk factors allow for the prediction and diagnosis of IGD. In the future, these risk factors could also be used to inform clinical services for IGD diagnosis and treatment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Emotional Regulation in Young Adults with Internet Gaming Disorder
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010030 - 25 Dec 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
People diagnosed with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) have been frequently reported to experience depression, anxiety, and hostility. Emotional regulation contributes to these mood symptoms. This study evaluated emotional regulation in subjects with IGD and examined relationships between emotional regulation, depression, anxiety, and hostility [...] Read more.
People diagnosed with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) have been frequently reported to experience depression, anxiety, and hostility. Emotional regulation contributes to these mood symptoms. This study evaluated emotional regulation in subjects with IGD and examined relationships between emotional regulation, depression, anxiety, and hostility in young adults with IGD. We recruited 87 people with IGD and a control group of 87 people without a history of IGD. All participants underwent a diagnostic interview based on the IGD criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, and they completed a questionnaire on emotional regulation, depression, anxiety, and hostility. We found that subjects with IGD were less likely to practice cognitive reappraisal and were more likely to suppress their emotions. Linear regression revealed the higher cognitive reappraisal and lower expressive suppression associated with depression, anxiety, and hostility among subjects with IGD. The emotional regulation strategies that characterize those with IGD could be contributing factors to the depression and hostility tendencies of these people. When treating patients with IGD, in addition to providing appropriate interventions to relieve depression and hostility, practitioners should effectively assess emotional regulation strategies and provide emotional regulation therapy to prevent a vicious cycle of negative emotions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Gaming Device Usage Patterns Predict Internet Gaming Disorder: Comparison across Different Gaming Device Usage Patterns
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1512; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121512 - 05 Dec 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Gaming behaviors have been significantly influenced by smartphones. This study was designed to explore gaming behaviors and clinical characteristics across different gaming device usage patterns and the role of the patterns on Internet gaming disorder (IGD). Responders of an online survey regarding smartphone [...] Read more.
Gaming behaviors have been significantly influenced by smartphones. This study was designed to explore gaming behaviors and clinical characteristics across different gaming device usage patterns and the role of the patterns on Internet gaming disorder (IGD). Responders of an online survey regarding smartphone and online game usage were classified by different gaming device usage patterns: (1) individuals who played only computer games; (2) individuals who played computer games more than smartphone games; (3) individuals who played computer and smartphone games evenly; (4) individuals who played smartphone games more than computer games; (5) individuals who played only smartphone games. Data on demographics, gaming-related behaviors, and scales for Internet and smartphone addiction, depression, anxiety disorder, and substance use were collected. Combined users, especially those who played computer and smartphone games evenly, had higher prevalence of IGD, depression, anxiety disorder, and substance use disorder. These subjects were more prone to develop IGD than reference group (computer only gamers) (B = 0.457, odds ratio = 1.579). Smartphone only gamers had the lowest prevalence of IGD, spent the least time and money on gaming, and showed lowest scores of Internet and smartphone addiction. Our findings suggest that gaming device usage patterns may be associated with the occurrence, course, and prognosis of IGD. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Commuting, Life-Satisfaction and Internet Addiction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101176 - 05 Oct 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
The focus of the present work was on the association between commuting (business and private), life satisfaction, stress, and (over-) use of the Internet. Considering that digital devices are omnipresent in buses and trains, no study has yet investigated if commuting contributes to [...] Read more.
The focus of the present work was on the association between commuting (business and private), life satisfaction, stress, and (over-) use of the Internet. Considering that digital devices are omnipresent in buses and trains, no study has yet investigated if commuting contributes to the development of Internet addiction. Overall, N = 5039 participants (N = 3477 females, age M = 26.79, SD = 10.68) took part in an online survey providing information regarding their commuting behavior, Internet addiction, personality, life satisfaction, and stress perception. Our findings are as follows: Personality seems to be less suitable to differentiate between commuter and non-commuter groups, which is possibly due to commuters often not having a choice but simply must accept offered job opportunities at distant locations. Second, the highest levels of satisfaction were found with income and lodging in the group commuting for business purposes. This might be related to the fact that commuting results in higher salaries (hence also better and more expensive housing style) due to having a job in another city which might exceed job opportunities at one’s own living location. Third, within the business-commuters as well as in the private-commuter groups, females had significantly higher levels of stress than males. This association was not present in the non-commuter group. For females, commuting seems to be a higher burden and more stressful than for males, regardless of whether they commute for business or private reasons. Finally, we observed an association between higher stress perception (more negative attitude towards commuting) and Internet addiction. This finding suggests that some commuters try to compensate their perceived stress with increased Internet use. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Association between Internet Gaming Disorder or Pathological Video-Game Use and Comorbid Psychopathology: A Comprehensive Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040668 - 03 Apr 2018
Cited by 20
Abstract
The addictive use of video games is recognized as a problem with clinical relevance and is included in international diagnostic manuals and classifications of diseases. The association between “Internet addiction” and mental health has been well documented across a range of investigations. However, [...] Read more.
The addictive use of video games is recognized as a problem with clinical relevance and is included in international diagnostic manuals and classifications of diseases. The association between “Internet addiction” and mental health has been well documented across a range of investigations. However, a major drawback of these studies is that no controls have been placed on the type of Internet use investigated. The aim of this study is to review systematically the current literature in order to explore the association between Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and psychopathology. An electronic literature search was conducted using PubMed, PsychINFO, ScienceDirect, Web of Science and Google Scholar (r.n. CRD42018082398). The effect sizes for the observed correlations were identified or computed. Twenty-four articles met the eligibility criteria. The studies included comprised 21 cross-sectional and three prospective designs. Most of the research was conducted in Europe. The significant correlations reported comprised: 92% between IGD and anxiety, 89% with depression, 85% with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and 75% with social phobia/anxiety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Most of the studies reported higher rates of IGD in males. The lack of longitudinal studies and the contradictory results obtained prevent detection of the directionality of the associations and, furthermore, show the complex relationship between both phenomena. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
Mobile Phone Dependence, Social Support and Impulsivity in Chinese University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030504 - 13 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study examined the frequency of mobile phone dependence in Chinese university students and explored its association with social support and impulsivity. Altogether, 909 university students were consecutively recruited from a large university in China. Mobile phone use, mobile phone dependence, impulsivity, and [...] Read more.
This study examined the frequency of mobile phone dependence in Chinese university students and explored its association with social support and impulsivity. Altogether, 909 university students were consecutively recruited from a large university in China. Mobile phone use, mobile phone dependence, impulsivity, and social support were measured with standardized instruments. The frequency of possible mobile phone use and mobile phone dependence was 78.3% and 7.4%, respectively. Multinomial logistic regression analyses revealed that compared with no mobile phone dependence, possible mobile phone dependence was significantly associated with being male (p = 0.04, OR = 0.7, 95% CI: 0.4–0.98), excessive mobile phone use (p < 0.001, OR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.09–1.2), and impulsivity (p < 0.001, OR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.03–1.06), while mobile phone dependence was associated with length of weekly phone use (p = 0.01, OR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.2–5.0), excessive mobile phone use (p < 0.001, OR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.2–1.4), and impulsivity (p < 0.001, OR = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.05–1.1). The frequency of possible mobile phone dependence and mobile phone dependence was high in this sample of Chinese university students. A significant positive association with impulsivity was found, but not with social support. Full article
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