International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 307–315 | Cite as

Problematic mobile phone use of Swiss adolescents: is it linked with mental health or behaviour?

  • Katharina Roser
  • Anna Schoeni
  • Milena Foerster
  • Martin RöösliEmail author
Original Article



To investigate the associations between problematic mobile phone use and mental health and behavioural problems in 412 Swiss adolescents owning a mobile phone while controlling for amount of mobile phone use.


Problematic mobile phone use was determined by the MPPUS-10 (Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale) and related to health and behavioural problems by means of multivariable regression modelling.


MPPUS-10 was 4.7 (95 % CI 1.8, 7.6) units higher in girls than in boys, increased significantly with age and was significantly decreased with increasing educational level of the parents. Furthermore, problematic mobile phone use was associated with impaired psychological well-being, impaired parent and school relationships and more behavioural problems but was not related to peer support and social acceptance.


Our study indicates that problematic mobile phone use is associated with external factors such as worse home and school environment and internal factors such as impaired mental health and behavioural problems of the adolescents and thus problematic mobile phone use should be addressed, in particular when dealing with adolescents showing behavioural or emotional problems.


Mobile phone use Problematic mobile phone use MPPUS Health Behaviour Adolescents Addiction 



The HERMES study is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (project number 138190). This research is also supported by the European project GERoNiMO—Generalised EMF Research using Novel Methods—an integrated approach: from research to risk assessment and support to risk management (FP7-ENV-2013, Grant Agreement 603794, 2014–2018). Many thanks go to the study participants and their parents for participating in the HERMES study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standard

Ethical approval for the conduct of the study was received from the ethical committee of Lucerne, Switzerland on May 9, 2012 (Ref. Nr. EK 12025).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

38_2015_751_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (607 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 607 kb)


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina Roser
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anna Schoeni
    • 1
    • 2
  • Milena Foerster
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Röösli
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Swiss Tropical and Public Health InstituteBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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