Association between smartphone overdependence and generalized anxiety disorder among Korean adolescents

Yeon Suk Lee, Jae Hong Joo, Jaeyong Shin, Chung Mo Nam, Eun Cheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to investigate the association between smartphone overdependence and generalized anxiety disorder among South Korean adolescents. Methods: Participants were selected from the Korean Youth Health Behavior Survey 2020. The primary dependent variable was the generalized anxiety disorder that was measured based on seven item instrument (GAD-7). The main exposure of interest was the smartphone overdependence using the integrated scale developed by the National Information Society Agency in Korea. Weighted chi-square test and multiple logistic regression were used to assess the association between smartphone overdependence and generalized anxiety disorder. Results: The final participants comprised of 54,948 middle and high school students. 13,775 students (25.1 %) were classified as the smartphone overdependence group. Of those who reported overly dependent on smartphones, 2803 students (20.3 %) had generalized anxiety disorder. The risk for generalized anxiety disorder were 2.15 folds (95 % CI 2.01–2.30) higher among the overdependence group in compared to their counterparts. Specifically, the risk for generalized anxiety disorder increased when smartphone has negatively affected relationships with friends and colleagues (OR: 2.35, 95 % CI 2.08–2.64). The sensitivity of smartphone overdependence scale was verified and the risk for generalized anxiety disorder increased in magnitude with the severity of smartphone overdependence. Conclusion: The findings of the study showed significant association between smartphone overdependence and generalized anxiety disorder among South Korean adolescents. The negative changes in social relationships due to excessive smartphone use and the severity of overdependence accounted for the risk for generalized anxiety disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Volume321
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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