Predictive factors of problematic smartphone use in young Spanish university students

Marín, Verónica
Sampedro, Begoña Esther
Ortega, Juana María
Figueroa, Jorge
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Smartphones have evolved from being a helpful tool in our days to be an indispensable complement. Its presence in our daily lives has grown to reach a problematic use on occasions. This fact is even more remarkable when we speak of young adults and adolescents, in which problematic situations can be identified as derived from its use. In this study, we analyze the self-perception of 409 young adults pursuing an Education university degree on the use and consumption of the smartphone via their responses to the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale. The results show that, despite not perceiving the use of the mobile phone as problematic, some of the behaviors described by them as habitual would imply inappropriate use of the smartphone. Some outlined by the sample included mitigating loneliness, fear of isolation, or using it to feel better. Surprisingly, these are not recognized as problematic, despite being some of the most apparent indicators of misuse. The analysis of the results shows how younger populations and, mainly women, present this type of worrying and unconscious behavior. However, the increasing use of these devices within training areas offer new options to favor its proper use, mitigating the possible adverse effects of its use.

Article originally published in Heliyon, 8(9). English. Published online 2022.
Problematic smartphone use, University student, Young adult
This is a published version of an article that is available at: Recommended citation: Marín, V., Sampedro, B. E., Ortega, J. M., & Figueroa, J. (2022). Predictive factors of problematic smartphone use in young Spanish university students. Heliyon, 8(9). This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.