Mobile Phone Addiction and Adolescents’ Anxiety and Depression: The Moderating Role of Mindfulness

Abstract

Objectives

Prior studies have documented that mobile phone addiction is linked to anxiety and depression. However, the underlying processes that might moderate these associations remain unclear. The present research tested whether mindfulness moderated the relations between mobile phone addiction and both anxiety and depression in adolescents.

Methods

A sample of 1258 high school students (mean age = 16.76, SD = .94) in China completed the measures regarding their mobile phone addiction, anxiety, depression, and mindfulness.

Results

Results of multiple regression analyses indicated that after controlling for gender and grade, mobile phone addiction was positively associated with adolescents’ anxiety and depression. In addition, the relationships between mobile phone addiction and both anxiety and depression were moderated by mindfulness, in that they were stronger for adolescents with lower levels of mindfulness.

Conclusions

The present research contributes to a deeper understanding of whether the links between mobile phone addiction and mental health problems (i.e., anxiety, depression) are moderated by important personality traits such as mindfulness. Limitations and research implications of these findings are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by Major Program of National Social Science Foundation of China (11&ZD151), and Research Program Funds of the Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment toward Basic Education Quality at Beijing Normal University (2019-04-003-BZPK01). We would like to express our deep gratitude to Yunbo Liu for her contribution to our research.

Author contributions

X.Y. designed and executed the study, and wrote the paper. Z.Z. collaborated with the design and writing of the study. Q.L. analyzed the data and collaborated with the writing of the study. C.F. collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Zongkui Zhou.

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All procedures performed in our study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional (Central China Normal University) and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Yang, X., Zhou, Z., Liu, Q. et al. Mobile Phone Addiction and Adolescents’ Anxiety and Depression: The Moderating Role of Mindfulness. J Child Fam Stud 28, 822–830 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-01323-2

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Keywords

  • Mobile phone addiction
  • Mindfulness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Adolescents