Prevalence and predictors of problematic smart phone use among university undergraduates


Background: A smartphone is a mobile phone that performs many of the functions of a computer, typically having a touchscreen interface, internet access, and an operating system capable of running downloaded applications. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and predictors of problematic smartphone use (PSU) among university undergraduates. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional design. PSU was studied among the students using the Smartphone Addiction Scale- Short version (SAS-SV). Results: Mean age was 21.3+2.59 years, mostly female (55.2%). The prevalence of smartphone ownership was 99.4% (3305). 13.9% of students had PSU. Factors associated with PSU were female gender (p=0.001), owning more than one smartphone (p=0.001), time spent on making phone calls (<0.001), surfing social media (<0.001), engaging in overnight phone call/social media chat (p=0.001), use of Twitter (p=0.002), Instagram (p=0.001), Snapchat (p=0.001), YouTube (p=0.001), online gaming (p=0.002), presence of probable psychiatric morbidity (p=0.001) and insomnia (p<0.001). The predictors of PSU were female gender (OR 1.305, p=0.038), engaging in overnight calls or social media chats (OR 2.243, p=0.001), using a smartphone in bed when unable to sleep at night (OR 2.832, p=0.003), probable psychiatric morbidity (OR 1.671, p<0.001), and insomnia (OR 1.298, p=0.043). Conclusion: Compared with other studies the prevalence of PSU among our participants is relatively low. However, PSU is a potentially disruptive behavioural addiction in undergraduates. Knowing predictors of PSU offers an opportunity for preventive counselling early in the course of study of all undergraduates.



Problematic smartphone use, university undergraduates, smartphone addiction


Ogunmodede JA, Ogunmodede AJ, Ahmed A, Buhari OIN, Agede OA, Bojuwoye MO, Bello HA, Olatunji AG, Oyeleke OA, Adeoye SA, Babatunde OA, Omotoso ABO, Bolarinwa OA. (2023). Prevalence and predictors of problematic smart phone use among university undergraduates.