The relationship between smartphone use and the development of mental health issues

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Langan, Kate
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Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Within media culture, there has been a notable increase in the discussion of excessive smartphone use and the possible negative health consequences elicited by this modern problem. A literature search revealed only a small amount of empirical research relating to these smartphone devices, and hardly any connecting smartphone overuse with symptoms of depression, stress and/or anxiety. This study used internet testing and was correlational and cross sectional in design. A snowball sample of participants were sought from Facebook, yielding responses from 92 females and 27 males across various age groups. The self-report questionnaires; Smartphone Problematic Use Questionnaire and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) 21 were administered. This study found a moderate positive significant relationship between levels of smartphone use and symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety, hence, as smartphone use increases, so too does the problematic disorders. Results also concluded that no significant difference was found between males and females, or across age groups, with regards overuse of smartphones and the development of symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. In conclusion, it is safe to propose from this research that smartphones have negative health influences over users when used in excess. Further research might be valuable to delve deeper into other aspects of this trending issue. Author keywords: Smartphone use, depression, anxiety, stress