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Associations between smartphone use and mental health and well-being among young Swiss men

Studer, Joseph; Marmet, Simon; Wicki, Matthias; Khazaal, Yasser; Gmel, Gerhard (2022). Associations between smartphone use and mental health and well-being among young Swiss men. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 156, pp. 602-610. 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.10.036

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Background and aims: Intense use of smartphones is associated with mental health problems and low well-being. However, little is known about the mental health and well-being of non- and low-level users. This study investigated the possibly non-linear associations between time spent using a smartphone, including non-users, and mental health and well-being among young adults.
Methods: Between 2016 and 2018, 5315 young Swiss men (M = 25.45 years old, SD = 1.25) completed a questionnaire assessing smartphone use, daily time spent using a smartphone, mental health and well-being (i.e. depression, social anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, life satisfaction, stress) and potential confounding variables (social capital, personality, education). The associations of smartphone use and time spent using a smartphone (linear and quadratic associations) with mental health and well-being were tested using regression models.
Results: Non-users (4.3%) reported worse mental health and well-being than smartphone users on all outcomes. Time spent using a smartphone was linearly associated with higher rates of social anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and lower levels of life satisfaction. The association with stress was non-linear, with significant linear and quadratic coefficients of time spent using a smartphone. Associations were partially attributable to confounding variables (i.e. social capital, personality, and education).
Conclusions: Non-users and intense users of smartphones have lower levels of mental health and well-being than low-level users. Although society and mental health professionals are deeply concerned about the potentially negative consequences of the ever-increasing use of smartphones, the present study suggested that not using a smartphone may also indicate problems.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

PHBern Contributor:

Wicki, Matthias




Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

17 Apr 2023 14:57

Last Modified:

11 May 2023 22:29

Publisher DOI:





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