Problematic mobile phone use of Swiss adolescents: Is it linked with mental health or behaviour?


Objectives: To investigate the associations between problematic mobile phone use and mental health and behavioural problems in 412 Swiss adolescents owning a mobile phone while controlling for amount of mobile phone use. Methods: Problematic mobile phone use was determined by the MPPUS-10 (Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale) and related to health and behavioural problems by means of multivariable regression modelling. Results: MPPUS-10 was 4.7 (95 % CI 1.8, 7.6) units higher in girls than in boys, increased significantly with age and was significantly decreased with increasing educational level of the parents. Furthermore, problematic mobile phone use was associated with impaired psychological well-being, impaired parent and school relationships and more behavioural problems but was not related to peer support and social acceptance. Conclusions: Our study indicates that problematic mobile phone use is associated with external factors such as worse home and school environment and internal factors such as impaired mental health and behavioural problems of the adolescents and thus problematic mobile phone use should be addressed, in particular when dealing with adolescents showing behavioural or emotional problems.