Author

Cory Newell

Graduation Semester and Year

2018

Language

English

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Angela Liegey-Dougall

Abstract

While mobile phones offer users communication, information, and entertainment almost instantaneously, there is a growing concern about the impact smartphone and social media use has on mental and physical health. This study addressed gaps in the literature by simultaneously measuring objective and subjective smartphone use rather than relying on subjective reports alone, and then assessed how they were differentially related to health. Generally, it was predicted that measures of smartphone use would be reliable and valid, and that higher use would predict worse health. Overall, a diverse sample (39% White, 22.1% Asian, and 16.9% African American) of 136 young adults (92 female, 44 male) with an average age of 19 (SE = .12; Range = 17-25) were assessed twice over a semester on measures of objective and subjective smartphone use and once on aspects of mental and physical health. The results showed that young adults spend approximately four and a half hours a day on their smartphone, with most of that time consumed by social media applications. Their self-report of use was consistent and weakly positively correlated with objective use despite over-estimating use in all categories. After standardizing both measures, there were no differences between objective and subjective smartphone use; however, they were differentially related to health. Generally, subjective measures of smartphone use were better predictors of both mental and physical health. Furthermore, relative time was important for both objective and subjective measures, indicating the relationship between smartphone use and health is not a direct function of time.

Keywords

Smartphone, Social media, Objective, Subjective, Health, Mental health, Physical health

Disciplines

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons

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