Addictive Use of Smartphones and Mental Disorders in University Students

  • Seyyed Salman Alavi
  • Maryam Ghanizadeh
  • Malihe Farahani
  • Fereshteh Jannatifard
  • Sudeh Esmaili Alamuti
  • Mohammad Reza Mohammadi
Keywords: Mental Disorders; Smart Mobile Phone Addiction; Student


Objective: Despite the awareness of smartphone addiction, low findings and lack of validated standards have led to insufficient information in this area. This study aimed to examine the relationship between mobile phone dependency and mental disorders in students in Iran, while controlling for the impact of gender, age, educational levels, and marital status.

Method: In this cross-sectional study, a sample of 1400 university students (445 males and 955 females) aged 18-35 years were selected from 3 cities of Tehran, Isfahan and Karaj. The participants filled out a set of questionnaires: Cell Phone Dependency Questionnaire (CPDQ), Millon Multiaxial Clinical Inventory, and participated in interviews. Data were analyzed using multiple logistic regression method via SPSS-22 software.

Results: In terms of controlling the demographic variables, the results revealed that bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, somatization, dependent personality disorder, and compulsive personality disorder could increase the possibility of mobile phone addiction by 4.2, 4.2, 1.2, 2.8, 3.1, and 3.2 folds, respectively (P < 0.05). However, other disorders and demographic characteristics did not have any significant effects on the equation.

Conclusion: The results can help better understand the relationship between psychological syndromes and smartphone addiction and can also facilitate further studies in this field. In addition, those students with smartphone addiction should be provided with different preventative strategies. Moreover, a growing range of stimulating applications may trigger the risk of addiction.