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    Joseph Campbell, posted by Cat Dancer


Jul 19, 2005
Anxiety Linked With Increased Cell-Phone Dependence, Abuse
by Marlene Busko
March 10, 2008

In a normative sample of 183 individuals, those with greater self-reported anxiety also had greater cell-phone dependence and abuse scores, according to a study by Lisa J. Merlo, PhD, and Amanda M. Stone, from the University of Florida, in Gainesville, which was presented as a poster here at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America 28th Annual Meeting.

"Individuals who suffer from an anxiety disorder may benefit from a clinical assessment to rule out cell-phone abuse or dependence," the researchers conclude.

The anxiety subscales on the 2 study measures correlated very strongly both with cell-phone dependence symptoms and cell-phone abuse symptoms, Dr. Merlo told Medscape Psychiatry. "Maybe it's actually a problem, particularly in the sample of anxious patients — something to look out for," she added.

As cell phones and personal digital assistants become more common, individuals may experience greater pressure to remain connected or available to others, the researchers write. Patients might manifest symptoms of problematic attachment to these technologies or show symptoms of "cell-phone addiction."

Many patients seen clinically seem to use their cell phones to manage their mental health symptoms, said Dr. Melo. "You might see a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder [OCD] who is using the phone to check things, or you might see a person with social phobia who is using the phone to avoid interaction with people."

The investigators sought to determine whether there was a correlation between anxiety symptoms and "cell-phone dependence."

They enrolled 183 individuals (66.1% female) aged 18 to 75 years (mean age, 30.4 ? 14.5 years) into the study. The study subjects had owned a cell-phone for an average of 7.2 ? 3.8 years (range, 0 to 20 years), and about 36% of them were students.

They completed self-report measures of cell-phone addiction and anxiety.

Cell-phone addiction was measured using a Cellular Technologies Addiction Scale (CTAS) questionnaire, which asks people to rate 38 items from 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). This questionnaire comprises 2 subscales: 24 questions rating cellular-technology dependence and 14 questions rating cellular-technology abuse.

Items in the cell-phone dependence subscale include statements such as:

  • "I have a hard time relaxing if my cell-phone signal does not have good signal strength."
  • "I think I might spend too much time on my cell phone."
  • "I check to make sure my phone is on if I have not recently received a call."
Anxiety was measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) trait anxiety subscale and the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP-NEO) anxiety subscale.

Anxious Individuals, Compulsive Phone Users
CTAS scores (measuring dependence) ranged from 26 to 117 (mean, 62.6 ? 18.5) and were normally distributed. This suggests that the tendency to display cell-phone dependence symptoms (eg, greater comfort when able to use the phone, compulsion to spend more time on the phone than desired, and emotional attachment to the phone) varies within the general population and can be measured via self-report.

Most participants did not report significant symptoms of cell-phone abuse (experiencing work, school, relationship, or financial problems due to cell-phone use, etc.)

Self-reported anxiety, however, significantly correlated with cell-phone dependence scores and cell-phone abuse scores.

Future research should examine the mechanisms by which cell-phone addiction contributes to or is exacerbated by anxiety symptoms, the researchers write.

Anxiety Disorders Association of America 28th Annual Meeting: Poster 47. March 6-9, 2007.


Forum Supporter
Aug 5, 2004
Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
July 19, 2012

Recent advancements in communication technology have enabled billions of people to connect over great distances using mobile phones, yet little is known about how the frequent presence of these devices in social settings influences face-to-face interactions. In two experiments, we evaluated the extent to which the mere presence of mobile communication devices shape relationship quality in dyadic settings. In both, we found evidence they can have negative effects on closeness, connection, and conversation quality. These results demonstrate that the presence of mobile phones can interfere with human relationships, an effect that is most clear when individuals are discussing personally meaningful topics.

---------- Post Merged at 06:29 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 05:42 PM ----------

Relationship Matters Podcast - SAGEPub.com:acrobat:

...And we think that having a mobile phone out on the table that it might prime people to think about the other relationships that they have and that that kind of activation of social connections that aren’t in the here and now, that aren’t in the room, that those might be distracting people from kind of connecting in the moment...

I think these studies really point out that this is a potential pitfall, leaving their phone out during a meaningful conversation. And building on that I also think that these studies point out that you could really take advantage of that situation by putting your phone away, signalling that the current conversation is the most important one for you and then kind of delving deeper into your relationship in that conversation...
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Forum Supporter
Aug 5, 2004
Apple Cracks Down on Apps That Fight iPhone Addiction
April 27, 2019, NY Times

SAN FRANCISCO — They all tell a similar story: They ran apps that helped people limit the time they and their children spent on iPhones. Then Apple created its own screen-time tracker. And then Apple made staying in business very, very difficult.

Over the past year, Apple has removed or restricted at least 11 of the 17 most downloaded screen-time and parental-control apps, according to an analysis by The New York Times and Sensor Tower, an app-data firm. Apple has also clamped down on a number of lesser-known apps.

In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove features that allowed parents to control their children’s devices or that blocked children’s access to certain apps and adult content. In other cases, it simply pulled the apps from its App Store.

Some app makers with thousands of paying customers have shut down. Most others say their futures are in jeopardy...

Executives at the app makers believe they are being targeted because their apps could hurt Apple’s business. Apple’s tools, they add, aren’t as aggressive about limiting screen time and don’t provide as many options.

“Their incentives aren’t really aligned for helping people solve their problem,” said Fred Stutzman, chief executive of Freedom, a screen-time app with more than 770,000 downloads before Apple removed it in August. “Can you really trust that Apple wants people to spend less time on their phones?”

Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said at a conference this month that Apple had added screen-time tools to help people monitor and manage their phone use. “We don’t want people using their phones all the time,” he said. “This has never been an objective for us.”

On Thursday, two of the most popular parental-control apps, Kidslox and Qustodio, filed a complaint with the European Union’s competition office. Kidslox said business had plummeted since Apple forced changes to its app that made it less useful than Apple’s tool.

Apple also faces an antitrust complaint in Russia from Kaspersky Lab — a Russian cybersecurity firm that American security officials claim has ties to the Russian government — which said Apple had forced it to remove key features from its parental-control app. The company is exploring a similar complaint in Europe, a Kaspersky spokeswoman said...

Apple has also limited the options for adults who want to fight their own phone addiction. In August, it abruptly pulled down the Freedom app, which allowed users to temporarily disable certain apps and websites. Mr. Stutzman, Freedom’s chief executive, said that to return to iPhones, he was forced to stop blocking apps and to block sites only on Apple’s Safari browser.

Apple’s tool now appears to be one of the few ways to disable apps, if not the only one. Yet when a user hits an app’s time limit on Apple’s tool, it provides a single option: “Ignore Limit.”

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