Problematic Internet and cell phone use in Spanish teenagers and young students

Xavier Carbonell, Ander Chamarro, Mark Griffiths, Ursula Oberst, Ramon Cladellas, Antoni Talarn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Addiction to the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has become an important research topic. The aims of the present study were to determine the problematic uses of Internet and cell phones in Spanish teenagers and young students and analyze the predictive capacity of these problematic uses to explain scores on the CERI (Cuestionario de Experiencias Relacionadas con Internet) and CERM (Cuestionario de Experiencias Relacionadas con el Móvil). Three questionnaires were applied to 1,879 students: a general questionnaire for Internet and cell phone use, one scale for problematic use of Internet (CERI) and one for cell phone (CERM). Cluster analysis yielded a solution involving three groups for both CERI and for CERM: no problems, occasional problems and frequent problems. There were no differences between males and females in Internet but there were more females showing frequent problematic use of cell phone. A comparison with nine previous Spanish studies suggests that: a) the amount of time spent connected is not a good indicator of problems deriving from its use; b) the factor that could explain problematic use is altered identity communication (AIC), which occurs when users hide or alter their true identity; and c) population survey data alone do not allow to confirm the existence of a persistent addictive disorder related to ICT. © 2012: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Murcia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-796
JournalAnales de Psicologia
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2012


  • Information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Internet addiction
  • Mobile phone addiction
  • Teenagers
  • Young adults


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