Problematic smartphone use, nature connectedness, and anxiety.

Journal article


Richardson, Miles, Hussain, Zaheer and Griffiths, Mark D. 2018. Problematic smartphone use, nature connectedness, and anxiety. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.7.2018.10
AuthorsRichardson, Miles, Hussain, Zaheer and Griffiths, Mark D.
Abstract

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.

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.

KeywordsNature connectedness; Smartphones; Smartphone use; Addiction; Anxiety
Year2018
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
PublisherAkadémiai Kiadó
ISSN20625871
20635303
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.7.2018.10
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622142
hdl:10545/622142
Publication dates08 Feb 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Feb 2018, 13:59
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Archived with thanks to Journal of Behavioral Addictions

ContributorsUniversity of Derby, Department of Life Sciences, College of Life and Natural Sciences, University of Derby, Derby, UK, Department of Life Sciences, College of Life and Natural Sciences, University of Derby, Derby, UK and Psychology Division, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK
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