Dr Zaheer Hussain

Research and Teaching Blog

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An investigation into Problematic Smartphone Use

My research study into problematic smartphone use has been published. Citation and abstract below. The article can be downloaded for free using the link below;


Hussain, Z., Griffiths, M.D., & Sheffield, D. (2017). An investigation into Problematic Smartphone Use: The role of narcissism, anxiety, and personality factors. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 6 (3), 378-386. doi: 10.1556/2006.6.2017.052.


Background and Aims: Over the last decade, worldwide smartphone usage has greatly increased. Alongside this growth, research on the influence of smartphones on human behaviour has also increased. However, a growing number of studies have shown that excessive use of smartphones can lead to detrimental consequences in a minority of individuals. This study examines the psychological aspects of smartphone use particularly in relation to problematic use, narcissism, anxiety, and personality factors.

Methods: A sample of 640 smartphone users ranging from 13 to 69 years of age (mean = 24.89 years, SD = 8.54 years) provided complete responses to an online survey including modified DSM-5 criteria of Internet Gaming Disorder to assess problematic smartphone use, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, and the Ten-Item Personality Inventory.

Results: The results demonstrated significant relationships between problematic smartphone use and anxiety, conscientiousness, openness, emotional stability, the amount of time spent on smartphones, and age. Results also demonstrated that conscientiousness, emotional stability, and age were independent predictors of problematic smartphone use.

Conclusions: The findings demonstrate that problematic smartphone use is associated with various personality factors and contributes to further understanding the psychology of smartphone behaviour and associated excessive use.


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Facebook Intensity Study published today

Our Facebook intensity study has been published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors, Therapy and Rehabilitation;



Facebook use has become a popular social activity. More intensive use of Facebook may increase the risk of health problems. Research suggests that high levels of stress and low levels of self-esteem are linked to Facebook intensity usage, however, these findings have been inconsistent, as studies also suggest the opposite or no links at all. This exploratory study examined whether narcissism, stress and self-esteem could predict Facebook intensity, and whether a short session on Facebook could produce immediate psychological effects. A sample of 163 Facebook users completed an online survey, engaged in a short Facebook session and then completed another online survey. Regression analysis revealed that narcissism, stress and self-esteem were found to significantly predict Facebook intensity with stress being a significant predictor within the model. Facebook use significantly increased self-esteem scores amongst the participants. The findings are discussed in relation to previous research and theory