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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00655

Addiction-like mobile phone behavior – validation and association with problem gambling

  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden
  • 2Psychology of Addictions, Psychology School, University of Valencia, Spain
  • 3Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden

Mobile phone use and its potential addiction has become a point of interest within the research community. The aim of the study was to translate and validate the Test of Mobile Dependence (TMD), and to investigate if there are any associations between mobile phone use and problem gambling. This was a cross-sectional study on a Swedish general population. A questionnaire consisting of a translated version of the TMD, three problem gambling questions (NODS-CLiP) together with two questions concerning previous addiction treatment was published online. Exploratory factor analysis based on polychoric correlations was performed on the TMD. Independent samples T-tests, Mann-Whitney test, logistic regression analyses and ANOVA were performed to examine mean differences between subjects based on TMD test score, gambling and previous addiction treatment. A total of 1,515 people (38.3% men) answered the questionnaire. The TMD showed acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha: 0.905), and significant correlation with subjective dependence on one's mobile phone. Women scored higher on the TMD and 15-18 year olds had the highest mean test score. The TMD test score was significantly associated with problem gambling, but only when controlling for age and sex. Various separated items related to mobile phone use were associated with problem gambling. The TMD had acceptable internal consistency and correlates with subjective dependence, while future confirmatory factor analysis is recommended. An association between mobile phone use and problem gambling may be possible, but requires further research.

Keywords: mobile phone, dependence, Addiction, Behavior, Gambling, substance use

Received: 28 Jan 2018; Accepted: 16 Apr 2018.

Edited by:

Md. Atiqur Rahman Ahad, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Reviewed by:

José De-Sola, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
Eduardo J. Pedrero-Pérez, Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Spain  

Copyright: © 2018 Fransson, Chóliz and Håkansson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Andreas Fransson, Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden,