Eichenberg, Schott & Schroiff (2021): Comparison of Students With and Without Problematic Smartphone Use in Light of Attachment Style


Back­ground: Nowa­days, media addic­tions are espe­cially of high rele­vance to psy­cho­the­ra­peutic prac­tice. More recently, this par­ti­cu­larly inclu­des exces­sive smart­phone usage. Even though a gro­wing num­ber of sci­en­ti­fic lite­ra­ture and also main­stream media high­light pro­ble­ma­tic smart­phone use as a serious health pro­blem, there is only little rese­arch on this issue.

Objec­tive: The aim of this study was to examine this pheno­me­non with a focus on attachment-specific dif­fe­ren­ces bet­ween stu­dents with and without pro­ble­ma­tic smart­phone use.

Method: A sur­vey was car­ried out on all enrol­led stu­dents of the Sig­mund Freud Uni­ver­sity Vienna. The Smart­phone Addic­tion Scale (SPAS) was used to dif­fe­ren­tiate bet­ween stu­dents with and without pro­ble­ma­tic smart­phone use. The attach­ment style was asses­sed using the Bie­le­feld Part­nership Expec­ta­ti­ons Ques­ti­on­naire (BFPE).

Results: Of the total sam­ple, 75 of the stu­dents (15.1%) showed a pro­ble­ma­tic smart­phone use. A posi­tive cor­re­la­tion bet­ween exces­sive smart­phone usage and an inse­cure attach­ment style was found.

Dis­cus­sion: The­rapy for pro­ble­ma­tic smart­phone use should be car­ried out in light of patient’s attach­ment style. Fur­ther rese­arch into other fac­tors of men­tal stress and per­so­na­lity is nee­ded to bet­ter under­stand pro­ble­ma­tic smart­phone use.

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Eichen­berg, C., Schott, M., & Schroiff, A. (2019). Com­pa­ri­son of Stu­dents With and Without Pro­ble­ma­tic Smart­phone Use in Light of Attach­ment Style. Front. Psych­ia­try, 10: 61. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00681.