A META-ANALYSIS OF SMARTPHONE ADDICTION AND BEHAVIORAL OUTCOMES
Though smartphones have become the icon of the 21st century, they are possibly the biggest source of non-drug addiction. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to identify behavioral outcomes associated with smartphone addiction, and to evaluate their overall and individual relationships with smartphone addiction. This metaanalysis conducted a preliminary review of 6115 studies which investigated the relationships between smartphone addiction and behavioral outcomes. Fifty-three studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria developed for this study and their review identified thirteen behavioral outcomes of smartphone addiction. Meta-analytical tests confirmed a positive and significant relationship between smartphone addition and overall behavioral outcome. However, the combined effects were significantly heterogeneous and this could be attributed to the diverse nature of behavioral outcomes, dispersion of studies across the globe, and varying demographics of samples. The results showed the prevalence of the following eight behavioral outcomes: anxiety, depression, loneliness, mental health, self-control, self-regulation, stress; and withdrawal that had a significant and positive relationship with smartphone addiction, while only self-esteem had a significant and negative relationship with smartphone addiction. Finally, depression was identified as the behavioral outcome that has a significant and positive relationship with smartphone addiction irrespective of global geographic and demographic variations. This article has elaborated on smartphone addiction criteria similar to that established for researches in substance abuse and addiction. Furthermore, the article has been able to show that smartphone addiction and its problematic use has become an emerging problem with grave consequences.
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