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Is the Smartphone Friend and Foe? Benefits and Costs of Self-reported Smartphone Use for Important Life Domains in a Representative German Sample

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Yannick Roos, Cornelia Wrzus

In: Current Psychology 42 (2023), 28, 24717–24731

Abstract

Smartphones are ubiquitous today, yet opinions differ as to whether the benefits or downsides of smartphone use predominate. Using the age-representative ‘Innovation Sample’ of the German Socio-Economic Panel study (N = 5,131, age M = 52.26, 17–96 years), this study examined associations between self-reported smartphone use and three life domains: individual well-being (psychological well-being, sleep); interpersonal relationships (social isolation, network size); and work (working hours, job satisfaction). For younger adults, increased smartphone use was associated with higher psychological well-being and longer sleep. In middle and late adulthood, moderate smartphone use was associated with the highest psychological well-being, and increased smartphone use was associated with less sleep. The more adults used the communicative functions of their smartphone, the more close friends they reported – irrespective of age. Employed adults who used work-related functions of their smartphone reported working more overtime and in the evening. Exploratory structural equation model trees examined non-linear combinations of smartphone use and demographic characteristics as moderators of these associations, but observed only few replicable patterns. The generally small associations might indicate that differences in ‘normal ranges’ of smartphone use are less consequential for the broad population than often assumed. We discuss challenges and future approaches for research on consequences of smartphone use.



Keywords: Smartphone use; Sleep; Well-being; Social relationships; Working hours; SEM tree analysis
Externer Link:
https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s12144-022-03593-y.pdf

DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-03593-y

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