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Background

Smartphone use has increased greatly at a time when concerns about society’s disconnection from nature have also markedly increased. Recent research has also indicated that smartphone use can be problematic for a small minority of individuals.

Methods

In this study, associations between problematic smartphone use (PSU), nature connectedness, and anxiety were investigated using a cross-sectional design (n = 244).

Results

Associations between PSU and both nature connectedness and anxiety were confirmed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to identify threshold values on the Problematic Smartphone Use Scale (PSUS) at which strong associations with anxiety and nature connectedness occur. The area under the curve was calculated and positive likelihood ratios used as a diagnostic parameter to identify optimal cut-off for PSU. These provided good diagnostic ability for nature connectedness, but poor and non-significant results for anxiety. ROC analysis showed the optimal PSUS threshold for high nature connectedness to be 15.5 (sensitivity: 58.3%; specificity: 78.6%) in response to an LR+ of 2.88.

Conclusions

The results demonstrate the potential utility for the PSUS as a diagnostic tool, with a level of smartphone use that users may perceive as non-problematic being a significant cut-off in terms of achieving beneficial levels of nature connectedness. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Open access

Background and aims

Over the last decade, worldwide smartphone usage has greatly increased. Alongside this growth, research on the influence of smartphones on human behavior has also increased. However, a growing number of studies have shown that excessive use of smartphones can lead to detrimental consequences in a minority of individuals. This study examines the psychological aspects of smartphone use particularly in relation to problematic use, narcissism, anxiety, and personality factors.

Methods

A sample of 640 smartphone users ranging from 13 to 69 years of age (mean = 24.89 years, SD = 8.54) provided complete responses to an online survey including modified DSM-5 criteria of Internet Gaming Disorder to assess problematic smartphone use, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, and the Ten-Item Personality Inventory.

Results

The results demonstrated significant relationships between problematic smartphone use and anxiety, conscientiousness, openness, emotional stability, the amount of time spent on smartphones, and age. The results also demonstrated that conscientiousness, emotional stability, and age were independent predictors of problematic smartphone use.

Conclusion

The findings demonstrate that problematic smartphone use is associated with various personality factors and contributes to further understanding the psychology of smartphone behavior and associations with excessive use of smartphones.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Espen Aarseth, Anthony M. Bean, Huub Boonen, Michelle Colder Carras, Mark Coulson, Dimitri Das, Jory Deleuze, Elza Dunkels, Johan Edman, Christopher J. Ferguson, Maria C. Haagsma, Karin Helmersson Bergmark, Zaheer Hussain, Jeroen Jansz, Daniel Kardefelt-Winther, Lawrence Kutner, Patrick Markey, Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen, Nicole Prause, Andrew Przybylski, Thorsten Quandt, Adriano Schimmenti, Vladan Starcevic, Gabrielle Stutman, Jan Van Looy and Antonius J. Van Rooij

Concerns about problematic gaming behaviors deserve our full attention. However, we claim that it is far from clear that these problems can or should be attributed to a new disorder. The empirical basis for a Gaming Disorder proposal, such as in the new ICD-11, suffers from fundamental issues. Our main concerns are the low quality of the research base, the fact that the current operationalization leans too heavily on substance use and gambling criteria, and the lack of consensus on symptomatology and assessment of problematic gaming. The act of formalizing this disorder, even as a proposal, has negative medical, scientific, public-health, societal, and human rights fallout that should be considered. Of particular concern are moral panics around the harm of video gaming. They might result in premature application of diagnosis in the medical community and the treatment of abundant false-positive cases, especially for children and adolescents. Second, research will be locked into a confirmatory approach, rather than an exploration of the boundaries of normal versus pathological. Third, the healthy majority of gamers will be affected negatively. We expect that the premature inclusion of Gaming Disorder as a diagnosis in ICD-11 will cause significant stigma to the millions of children who play video games as a part of a normal, healthy life. At this point, suggesting formal diagnoses and categories is premature: the ICD-11 proposal for Gaming Disorder should be removed to avoid a waste of public health resources as well as to avoid causing harm to healthy video gamers around the world.

Open access