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Front Psychiatry. 2016 Oct 24;7:175. eCollection 2016.

Cell-Phone Addiction: A Review.

Author information

1
Department of Psychobiology, Psychology Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) , Madrid , Spain.
2
Department of Psychobiology, Psychology Faculty, Complutense University of Madrid (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Madrid, Spain; Clinical Management of Mental Health Unit, Biomedical Research Institute of Málaga, Regional University Hospital of Málaga (Unidad de Gestión Clínica de Salud Mental, Hospital Regional Universitario de Málaga, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga - IBIMA), Málaga, Spain.
3
Istituto de Investigación i+12, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre de Madrid , Madrid , Spain.

Abstract

We present a review of the studies that have been published about addiction to cell phones. We analyze the concept of cell-phone addiction as well as its prevalence, study methodologies, psychological features, and associated psychiatric comorbidities. Research in this field has generally evolved from a global view of the cell phone as a device to its analysis via applications and contents. The diversity of criteria and methodological approaches that have been used is notable, as is a certain lack of conceptual delimitation that has resulted in a broad spread of prevalent data. There is a consensus about the existence of cell-phone addiction, but the delimitation and criteria used by various researchers vary. Cell-phone addiction shows a distinct user profile that differentiates it from Internet addiction. Without evidence pointing to the influence of cultural level and socioeconomic status, the pattern of abuse is greatest among young people, primarily females. Intercultural and geographical differences have not been sufficiently studied. The problematic use of cell phones has been associated with personality variables, such as extraversion, neuroticism, self-esteem, impulsivity, self-identity, and self-image. Similarly, sleep disturbance, anxiety, stress, and, to a lesser extent, depression, which are also associated with Internet abuse, have been associated with problematic cell-phone use. In addition, the present review reveals the coexistence relationship between problematic cell-phone use and substance use such as tobacco and alcohol.

KEYWORDS:

addiction; behavioral addiction; cell-phone addiction; dependence; internet addiction

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