Thursday, March 22, 2018

Anxiety may trigger smartphone addiction: Study

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People who are less emotionally stable and suffer from anxiety are more likely to be addicted to their smartphones, according to a study. Researchers from the University of Derby and Nottingham Trent University in the UK conducted an online study with 640 smartphone users, aged 13-69, to find out the association between smartphone use and personality traits.

They found that people who struggle with their mental health are more likely to intensively use their smartphone as a form of therapy. The less conscientious the individuals are, the more likely they are to be addicted to their phones, researchers said. The study also revealed that as anxiety levels increase in an individual, the more they use their smartphone.

"With 4.23 billion smartphones being used around the world, smartphone use has become a necessity in the lives of many individuals," said Zaheer Hussain, lecturer at the University of Derby. The study found that anxiety correlated with problematic smartphone use, supporting past research that has found anxiety to be associated with problematic smartphone use.

The study also found that people who are 'closed off' or less open with their emotions are more likely to have problems with smartphone use.
"Emotional stability is characterised by being stable and emotionally resilient and in our study we found being less emotionally stable was associated with problematic smartphone behaviour," said Hussain.

"This is because people may be experiencing problems in their lives such as stress, anxiety, depression, family problems, so in that state they are emotionally unstable, meaning they may seek respite in very excessive smartphone use. This is worrying," he said.

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