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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02633

Lower Trait Stability, Stronger Normative Beliefs, Habitual Phone Use, and Unimpeded Phone Access Predict Distracted College Student Messaging in Social, Academic, and Driving Contexts

 Julia L. Briskin1*,  Tim Bogg1* and Jesse Haddad2
  • 1Wayne State University, United States
  • 2Wayne State University School of Medicine, United States

The goal of the present study was to test two models of phone messaging behaviors among college students – a sociocognitive connection model and a cybernetic personality system model – across three contexts, where messaging behaviors represented disengagement from the primary context: a meal time with friends, attending class, and driving. Using a sample of university students (N = 634), path analyses with boot-strapping procedures were used to model direct and indirect effects of behavioral, social cognition, and personality trait predictors of primary context disengagement via message checking, message reading, and message sending behaviors. Internal and comparative model fit information showed the cybernetic personality system model represented the data well across all three contexts. Across the contexts, phone related habits and normative beliefs about phone usage mediated relations between personality traits and messaging behaviors. In addition, stronger normative beliefs for messaging behaviors and stronger phone related habits predicted unimpeded physical phone access across the contexts. Across contexts, more frequent messaging behaviors were most strongly predicted by the variance shared by low trait self-discipline, high trait anxiety, and high trait altruism via phone-related habits. The results are discussed in terms of the predictive utility of testing process models of messaging behaviors across varying contexts, as well as possible forms of intervention for reducing primary context disengagement via messaging behaviors.

Keywords: Personality, Messaging behavior, Distraction and inattention, Texting, phone use, Structural Equation Modeling

Received: 17 Jul 2018; Accepted: 06 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Hester Van Herk, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands

Reviewed by:

Liudmila Liutsko, Instituto Salud Global Barcelona (ISGlobal), Spain
Laura Mezquita, Universitat Jaume I, Spain  

Copyright: © 2018 Briskin, Bogg and Haddad. 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(s) 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:
Ms. Julia L. Briskin, Wayne State University, Detroit, United States, julbrisk@gmail.com
Dr. Tim Bogg, Wayne State University, Detroit, United States, tbogg@wayne.edu