Young Adults’ Cellphone Dependence, Stress, Depression and Self-Esteem

Mikiyasu Hakoyama, Ph.D.


Cellphones have become an indispensable communication device, especially for young adults. Based on an online survey conducted in the Midwest, USA, the current study examined young adults’ (N = 1,659, M age = 19.38, SD = 1.71) use of cellphone and its influence on their psychosocial states. Almost 90% of the participants owned their first cellphone at age 14 or younger; 96.5% of the cellphone owners were smartphone users. Women spent significantly longer time for both voice calling and texting, were more cellphone dependent, stressed and depressed than men. Both men and women spent significantly more time for texting than voice calling. Path analysis revealed that the time spent for texting and the fear of social isolation for being a non-texting user predicted cellphone dependence, which subsequently predicted self-esteem; the latter relationship was mediated by the level of perceived stress and depression. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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