Problematic mobile phone use in adolescence: A cross-sectional study

Giovanni Martinotti, Corrado Villella, D Di Thiene, Marco Di Nicola, Pietro Bria, Gianluigi Conte, M Cassano, F Petruccelli, N Corvasce, Luigi Janiri, G. La Torre

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: In recent years, mobile phone use has become increasingly common among Italian youth, while a growing scientific literature has been identifying the occurrence of a problematic mobile phone use which seems to share some features of other conditions often referred to as behavioural addictions. The study aimed to assess the prevalence of problematic mobile phone use in a population of Italian adolescents and its association with other behavioural addictions. Subjects and methods: The Mobile Addiction Test (MAT) was administered to 2,790 high school students from Barletta, an Italian town, together with the South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised for Adolescents (SOGS-RA), the Compulsive Buying Scale (CBS), the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), the Exercise Addiction Inventory (EAI), the Work Addiction Risk Test (WART). Results: MAT scores fitted a Gaussian distribution model. Scores ≥ 17 was found as a cut-off value over which identifying problematic mobile phone users. Overall prevalence of problematic mobile phone use was 6.3%; this condition was associated with other behavioural addictions like compulsive buying. Conclusion: Problematic mobile phone use in adolescence should become a public health issue, and it could be a cause of health problems and social costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Adolescence
  • Behavioural addictions
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Mobile phones


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