Exploring British adolescents’ views and experiences of problematic smartphone use and smartphone etiquette

Conlin, Marie-Claire and Sillence, Elizabeth (2021) Exploring British adolescents’ views and experiences of problematic smartphone use and smartphone etiquette. Journal of Gambling Issues, 46. pp. 279-301. ISSN 1910-7595

Problematic Smartphone Use Paper JGI DEC2020_FINAL.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (485kB) | Preview
4102-6506-1-PB.pdf - Published Version

Download (475kB) | Preview
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.4309/jgi.2021.46.14


Smartphones are now a ubiquitous part of daily life for adolescents in the United Kingdom, who use their phones for a multitude of reasons beyond calling or texting. To date, little qualitative research has been conducted with adolescent smartphone users about their experiences of smartphone use, particularly problematic or excessive use. This study directly explored the topics of problematic use and smartphone etiquette with 13 British adolescents aged 16–18 years across three focus group discussions. An inductive thematic analysis resulted in the development of four themes related to users’ experiences: The Comfort Bubble, Digital Native Etiquette, The Extended Self, and Defining Dependency. These themes encompass the different drives underlying potentially excessive or antisocial smartphone use and how young people seek to minimize these risks by monitoring both their own and others’ smartphone use. The findings of this study demonstrate the complexity of disentangling functional and enjoyable smartphone use from problematic use in an era when smartphones are embedded so deeply in modern life. The implications of these findings are discussed in terms of potential future measures of problematic smartphone use and ways of promoting education about healthy smartphone use by applying some of the strategies put forward by the young people in this study.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adolescents, behavioural addiction, dependency, focus group interview, problematic technology use, qualitative research, smartphones
Subjects: C800 Psychology
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 16:09
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 11:03
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45225

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics