Smartphone Addiction and Its Relationship with Indices of Social-Emotional Distress and Personality

  • Adam M. VolungisEmail author
  • Maria Kalpidou
  • Colleen Popores
  • Mark Joyce
Original Article


We examined the relationships among smartphone addiction, social-emotional distress (e.g., anxiety, depression, sleep quality, and loneliness), and personality traits among 150 undergraduate college students. Participants completed the Smartphone Addiction Scale, the Outcome Questionnaire-45.2, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the UCLA Loneliness Scale-3, and the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Five-Factor Inventory-3. Results showed that the more students were addicted to their smartphone, the higher their reported social-emotional distress was. Additionally, logistic analyses supported the predictive nature of smartphone addiction on specific domains of social-emotional distress. Personality did not moderate the relationship between smartphone addiction and social-emotional distress. However, neuroticism had a positive relationship with smartphone addiction, while extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientious all had a negative relationship with smartphone addiction. Overall, these findings can inform assessment and interventions targeted at reducing smartphone use and improving mental health of college students. Research implications are also provided considering the infancy of studying the effects of smartphone use on psychological well-being.


Smartphone addiction Depression Anxiety Sleep Loneliness Personality 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAssumption CollegeWorcesterUSA

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