Analysis of Problematic Smartphone Use Across Different Age Groups within the ‘Components Model of Addiction’

Sándor Csibi, Mark D. Griffiths, Zsolt Demetrovics, Attila Szabo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Smartphones have rapidly become indispensable in modern life. The wide spectrum of activities and virtual interaction possibilities with the mobile device render some individuals prone to exaggerated use exhibiting core symptoms akin to substance addiction. The core common symptoms of addictions can be framed within the ‘components model of addiction.’ Based on the different pattern of smartphone use in various age groups, the symptoms and the risk of smartphone addiction may differ during various life stages. Some age groups may be more at risk of smartphone addiction than others. This hypothesis was tested utilizing data from six surveys comprising 1603 individuals representing various age groups. Results obtained through two recommended age-group analyses both confirmed that preschool children and young adults are at highest risk for smartphone-related addictive behavior. Furthermore, the various components of addiction also differed between the age groups. These results suggest that preventive measures should be primarily targeted to the two most vulnerable age groups represented by preschool children and emerging adults. The results of the present study help identify the dominant addiction symptoms in the various age groups that could pinpoint aspects which should be targeted in implementation of various measures aimed at the prevention of dysfunctional smartphone use.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Age groups
  • Problematic smartphone use
  • Smartphone addiction
  • Smartphone use
  • ‘Components model of addiction’

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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