Dr Zaheer Hussain

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Conference Paper: Exploring Problematic Smartphone Use and Associated Psychological Factors

Earlier this month I was invited to present a paper at the 3rd International Congress on Technology Addiction in Istanbul, Turkey. Here is the abstract for the paper I presented;

Exploring Problematic Smartphone Use and Associated Psychological Factors

Dr Zaheer Hussain (University of Derby, UK), Claire Pearson (University of Derby, UK) & Professor 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 two studies exploring the psychological aspects of smartphone use.


Study 1: A self-selected sample of 256 smartphone users (Mean age = 29.2, SD = 9.49) completed an online survey.

Study 2: 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.


Study 1: The results revealed that 13.3% of the sample was classified as addicted to their smartphones. Higher narcissism scores and neuroticism levels were linked to addiction.

Study 2: The results revealed a significant relationship between problematic smartphone use and the predictors of time spent on phone, conscientiousness, emotional stability and age.


The findings provide interesting insights in to the psychology of smartphone use and emphasise that there are various factors that influence problematic smartphone use. The development of personalised health interventions may be needed to prevent the negative consequences of smartphone use.