Mobile phones are an important part of high school student’s life. Addiction to smartphone usage is a common worldwide problem among students, which might negatively affect their mental wellbeing. The aim of this research was to examine the effect of mobile phone use on mental health of high school students by measuring the levels of depression, anxiety, fear of missing out, isolation and sleep quality among higher secondary students of various schools of Surat city.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a total of 250 numbers of higher secondary students (Grade 10-12) aged between 14-16 years. All the subjects were asked to complete a self-reported Smartphone Addiction Scale-short version (SAS-sv) for measuring smart phone addiction. Subjects were assigned to 2 groups based on their scores on the Smartphone Addiction Scale Short Version for Adolescents (SAS-SV): addicted group (score > 32, n = 155) and non-addicted group (score ≤ to 32, n = 95).Secondary outcome measures were Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) for anxiety and depression, FOMO scale for fear of missing out, PROMIS sleep disturbance short form for sleep disturbances. 6 items from the Children’s Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was used to measure social isolation.
Results: Statistical analysis indicates that 62% of students were addicted to smart phone. Anxiety, depression, fear of missing out, isolation and sleep disturbance had positive significant correlation with smart phone addiction (p<0.05). Anxiety and depression (p = 0.000) were highly correlated with smart phone addiction followed by Sleep disturbance (0.002), isolation (p = 0.029) and fear of missing out (p = 0.049). The results revealed there were high chances of anxiety and stress for cell phone addicts.
Conclusions: The results indicated that the intensity and modality of mobile phone use could be a factor that can influence causal pathways leading to mental health problems in the high school student population of Surat. The positive correlation between smartphone addiction and various components of mental health is alarming.