Prevalence of problematic cell phone use in an adult population in Spain as assessed by the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale (MPPUS)

José De-Sola, Hernán Talledo, Fernando Rodríguez de Fonseca, Gabriel Rubio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2017 de-Sola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Problematic cell phone use has alarmingly increased in industrialized countries in the past 10 years. For many perpetrators, it can turn into a behavioural addiction, although this is not a recognized medical condition. Although there are many tools for evaluating this use, one of the most widely used tools is the Mobile Phone Problematic Use Scale (MPPUS), which we test on a representative sample of the population in Spain to obtain an estimate of the prevalence of problematic cell phone use in our midst. The age range consists of 16–65 years, with 1,126 surveys conducted. In this population, we verify that the reliability and internal consistency of the MPPUS (α = 0.939) are maintained. Additionally, the construct validity, considering the derived factors (Abuse and Dependence, Craving and Loss of Control, and Dependence on the Social Environment) are aligned with other research and with diverse external criteria of addiction. We establish four categories of users (Casual, Regular, At Risk, and Problematic) and obtain a prevalence of 15.4% among At Risk Users and 5.1% among Problematic Users. This finding implies a total of 20.5% of Users with Problems. A binary logistic regression analysis shows that age, gender, level of education, and daily cell phone use predict problematic cell phone use. The results, based on multiple criteria, show that such problematic use shares features of recognized addictions, affecting large segments of the population and not only adolescents.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalPLoS ONE
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

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