Non-social features of smartphone use are most related to depression, anxiety, and problematic smartphone use Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Elhai, Jon D.; Levine, Jason C; Dvorak, Robert D.; Hall, Brain J.


  • Abstract Little is known about the mechanisms of smartphone features that are used in sealing relationships between psychopathology and problematic smartphone use. Our purpose was to investigate two specific smartphone usage types – process use and social use – for associations with depression and anxiety; and in accounting for relationships between anxiety/depression and problematic smartphone use. Social smartphone usage involves social feature engagement (e.g., social networking, messaging), while process usage involves non-social feature engagement (e.g., news consumption, entertainment, relaxation). 308 participants from Amazon's Mechanical Turk internet labor market answered questionnaires about their depression and anxiety symptoms, and problematic smartphone use along with process and social smartphone use dimensions. Statistically adjusting for age and sex, we discovered the association between anxiety symptoms was stronger with process versus social smartphone use. Depression symptom severity was negatively associated with greater social smartphone use. Process smartphone use was more strongly associated with problematic smartphone use. Finally, process smartphone use accounted for relationships between anxiety severity and problematic smartphone use.


publication date

  • 2017

published in

start page

  • 75

end page

  • 82


  • 69