Problematic Internet and mobile phone use and clinical symptoms in college students: The role of emotional intelligence

Marta Beranuy, Ursula Oberst, Xavier Carbonell, Ander Chamarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

203 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study deals with maladaptive use of the Internet and the mobile phone and its relationship to symptoms of psychological distress and mental disorder, as well as to the possible role of Perceived Emotional Intelligence in this relationship. Three hundred and sixty-five undergraduate university freshmen at Ramon Llull University, Barcelona (Spain), majoring in four different studies (Psychology, Education, Journalism and Broadcasting, and Health Studies) replied to scales assessing the negative consequences of maladaptive use of both the Internet (CERI) and the mobile phone (CERM), a self-report scale on Perceived Emotional Intelligence (TMMS-24), and a clinical instrument to check for complaints related to the presence of psychological distress (Symptom Checklist-90-R; SCL-90-R). Results indicate that psychological distress is related to maladaptive use of both the Internet and the mobile phone; females scored higher than males on the mobile phone questionnaire, showing more negative consequences of its maladaptive use. With respect to major study, students of Journalism and Broadcasting showed a more maladaptive pattern of Internet use than students of other majors. The components of Perceived Emotional Intelligence contributed to the explanation of the variance of the general indicators of psychological distress, but to a lesser degree than maladaptive use of Internet and mobile phone. © 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1182-1187
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume25
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009

Keywords

  • Behavioral addictions
  • College students
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Internet addiction
  • Mobile phone use

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