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Psychiatry Res. 2014 May 15;216(2):255-62. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.12.024. Epub 2013 Dec 21.

Text messaging: are dependency and Excessive Use discretely different for Japanese university students?

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Department of Clinical Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan; Department of Public Health, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.
Research Center of Applied Psychology, Chengdu Medical College, Chengdu, China.
Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare, Tamana, Japan.
Kitamura Institute of Mental Health Tokyo, 101 Akasaka 8-13-5, Minato, Tokyo 107-0057, Japan; Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan. Electronic address:


Text messaging may be excessive and young people may be dependent on it. We distributed the Self-perception of Text-message Dependency Scale (STDS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and Relationship Questionnaire (RQ) to 223 Japanese university students in a two-wave study, separated by a 5-month interval. The STDS yielded a three-factor structure. The STDS scores across the two measurement occasions were stable across time (except for the Relationship Maintenance subscale). A hierarchical cluster analysis suggested a three-class structure interpreted as Normal Users, Excessive Users, and Dependent Users. Excessive Users and Dependent Users were characterized by a young age at initial mobile phone use, more frequent use of text messaging, higher Novelty Seeking, and better Other-Model patterns of adult attachment. Unlike Excessive Users, Dependent Users were characterized by lower Self-directedness, poorer Self-Model of adult attachment, and higher anxiety and depression. The Excessive Users, but not the Dependent Users, were characterized by high Reward Dependence and Co-operativeness. The present study demonstrated that the STDS has a robust factor structure, good construct validity, and temporal stability (except for Relationship Maintenance subscale); students could be classified into normal, excessive, and Dependent Users of the text messaging; and Dependent Users were characterized by Excessive Use and personality immaturity.


Cluster analysis; Mobile phone; Rating scale; Reliability; Text message dependency; Validity

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