Dr Zaheer Hussain

Research and Teaching Blog

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Problematic Smartphone use and the links to Anxiety and User Personality

I presented at the 3rd International Conference on Behavioral Addictions (ICBA 2016) last week. Abstract below;

Exploring Problematic Smartphone use and the links to Anxiety and User Personality

Zaheer Hussain (University of Derby, UK) & David Sheffield (University of Derby, UK)

Background and Aims: Worldwide smartphone usage has greatly increased with research showing that in the UK smartphone penetration has risen from 62% in 2013 to 81% in 2015 (MobileSquared, 2015). Alongside this growth in smartphone usage, research on the influence of smartphones on human behaviour has increased. Smartphone based interventions have proven useful in different contexts, such as diabetes management, physical and healthy eating monitoring (Fjeldsoe, Marshall, & Miller, 2009). However, a growing number of studies have shown that excessive use of smartphones can lead to detrimental consequences (Billieux, Maurage, Lopez-Fernandez, Kuss & Griffiths, 2015). This paper will discuss the research findings of a large scale study exploring the psychological aspects of smartphone use.

Methods: A sample of 871 smartphone users ranging from 13 to 69 years of age (mean = 25.06 years, SD = 8.88) completed an online survey comprising of modified DSM-5 criteria, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and the Ten-Item Personality Inventory.

Results: The results revealed a significant relationship between problematic smartphone use and the predictors of time spent on phone, conscientiousness, emotional stability and age.

Conclusions: This is the first large-scale study of problematic smartphone use and personality characteristics. The findings emphasise that problematic smartphone use is linked to various predictors. The development of personalised health interventions are needed to prevent the negative consequences of smartphone use.


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Smartphones & Personality Survey

I’m currently gathering data for my new project. I’m using an online survey to explore smartphone use. If anyone has any free time could you please fill it in. The aim is to explore the psychology of smartphone use and links to individual differences and personality. I want as many participants as possible. So your participation would be greatly appreciated. Here’s the link to the survey;



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Working towards an international consensus on criteria for assessing internet gaming disorder

My latest publication with a large team of colleagues is now available online. Here’s the full reference;

Griffiths, M. D., van Rooij, A. J., Kardefelt-Winther, D., Starcevic, V., Király, O., Pallesen, S., Müller, K.,Dreier, M., Carras, M., Prause, N., King, D. L., Aboujaoude, E., Kuss, D. J., Pontes, H. M., Lopez Fernandez, O., Nagygyorgy, K., Achab, S., Billieux, J., Quandt, T., Carbonell, X., Ferguson, C. J., Hoff, R. A., Derevensky, J., Haagsma, M. C., Delfabbro, P., Coulson, M., Hussain, Z., and Demetrovics, Z.(2016) Working towards an international consensus on criteria for assessing internet gaming disorder: a critical commentary on Petry et al. (2014). Addiction, 111: 167–175.


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