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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 2005;27(1): 140-153.
A study on the addicted use of mobile phone among the high school students.
Jin young Jeong, Dong Hyun Kim
1Hallym School of Public Health.
2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, HallymUniversity College of Medicine. dhkims@hallym.ac.kr
3Institute of Health Services Research, Hallym University.
BACKGROUND: As there are many teenagers being addicted to the Internet ever since the computer became one of the communication channels, similar addictive phenomena are expected to occur for mobile phone usage as it rapidly positions itself as a means of communication among teenagers. OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to describe the pattern of mobile phone usage among high school students and to examine the association with psychological characteristics related to addiction such as depression, self-esteem and impulsiveness. METHODOLOGY: A survey was conducted for 501 high school students(254 males and 247 females), currently using mobile phones, in the Metropolitan Seoul area. The Questionnaire by Young for the evaluation of internet addiction was modified and supplemented incorporating the circumstances in Korea. For the psychological characteristics, following were used: Korean translation of the depression scale CES-D, the self-esteem scale and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale. Based on the total score on the mobile phone survey, the top 25% were categorized as the addicted user group (n=129) and the bottom 25% as the non-addicted user group(n=126).
The addicted user group started using the mobile phone earlier, used their phones for longer durations and displayed higher purchasing frequencies than the non-addicted user group. Furthermore, the addicted group members scored higher in terms of average daily usage time, voice call duration, SMS exchanges, the number of contacts stored in the phone, experiences of using the phone during classes, and average monthly charges. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to assess associated factors of addicted mobile phone use. In terms of psychological characteristics, addicted mobile phone use was 10.2 times(OR=10.2, 95% CI 2.1~49.2) greater if the depression point is 51 or higher compared to 35 or less, and 6.3 times(OR=6.4, 95% CI 2.0~20.5) greater if the impulsiveness point is 61 or higher compared to 50 or less.
These finding showed that there were differences between the addicted mobile phone user group and the non-addicted counterpart in terms of mobile phone usage patterns and psychological characteristics such as depression and impulsiveness. Further studies on the association between addicted use of mobile phone and psychological factors are needed.
Keywords: mobile phone; addicted use; depression; self-esteem; impulsiveness


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