Impact Factor 3.161 | CiteScore 3.13
More on impact ›

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

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00883


 José De-Sola1,  Gabriel Rubio2, Hernan Talledo3, LUIS `PISTONI4, HENK VAN RIESEN5 and  FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ DE FONSECA6*
  • 1Departamento de Psicobiologia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
  • 3Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, Peru
  • 4ODEC, Spain
  • 5RESEARCH NOW /SSI, Paseo de Recoletos 3, 28004 MADRID, Spain
  • 6UNIDAD DE GESTION CLINICA DE SALUD MENTAL, Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga, University of Málaga, Spain

Mobile phone abuse may be associated with health problems as well as with interferences in daily life. However, beyond the mobile as a device, the contributions of specific utilities and applications to the problematic mobile phone use remains to be analyzed. To address this important question we conducted 1,126 online interviews in Spain with participants aged 16 to 65 who are representative of the general population. The aim of the study was to analyze the patterns and differences of cell phone use based on habitual use, abuse and problematic use, considering the most frequently used utilities and applications. Additional variables used were personal perception of cell phones, intensity of use, and participant`s lifestyle with regard to entertainment and the maintenance of healthy habits. Further, we aimed to analyze difference between problematic and non problematic mobile phone users in the utilization of applications, controlling for additional variables such as age, gender, educational level, consumption of tobacco and alcohol and illegal drugs. Results show that problematic use is consistent with the self-perception of abuse and is related to internet browsing, social media, music and mobile games; particular applications of interest include Facebook, music applications and Twitter. Furthermore, among problematic users, a pattern of interference with other activities or inappropriate use in certain contexts is observed, with a differential pattern of entertainment and abandonment of healthy habits. Finally, two binary logistic regression analyses demonstrated that beyond the cell phones themselves, specific utilities and applications such as browsing, chatting or downloading and listening to music contribute to the differences between problematic and non problematic users. Specifically, the use of Facebook, Twitter and music applications have the greatest power to discriminate between the two types of users.

Keywords: mobile phone (or smartphone) use, Apps, Problematic use, Addiction, habits

Received: 25 Jan 2019; Accepted: 08 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 De-Sola, Rubio, Talledo, `PISTONI, VAN RIESEN and RODRIGUEZ DE FONSECA. 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: Prof. FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ DE FONSECA, Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga, University of Málaga, UNIDAD DE GESTION CLINICA DE SALUD MENTAL, Málaga, 29010, Spain,