Attachment Styles and Smartphone Addiction in Chinese College Students: the Mediating Roles of Dysfunctional Attitudes and Self-Esteem


Smartphone addiction has been related to psychological, behavioral, and social problems, with attachment styles being found to be one of the more prevalent factors. This study explored the relationships between attachment styles and smartphone addiction, and then investigated the mediating roles of dysfunctional attitudes and self-esteem. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted with a voluntary college student sample in China (N = 297) to test the proposed hypotheses. It was found that anxious attachment styles positively predicted smartphone addiction. More importantly, dysfunctional attitudes and self-esteem were found to be mediators between anxious attachment styles and smartphone addiction, as well as close attachment styles and smartphone addiction. Deeper causes and implications are discussed.

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Correspondence to Jin Yuchang.

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This study was approved by the ethics committee of Sichuan University and all participants participated voluntarily to complete the questionnaire online.

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The authors declare that they have no potential conflict of interest.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Yuchang, J., Cuicui, S., Junxiu, A. et al. Attachment Styles and Smartphone Addiction in Chinese College Students: the Mediating Roles of Dysfunctional Attitudes and Self-Esteem. Int J Ment Health Addiction 15, 1122–1134 (2017) doi:10.1007/s11469-017-9772-9

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  • Attachment styles
  • Smartphone addiction
  • Dysfunctional attitudes
  • Self-esteem