Problematic Smartphone Use Among Middle School and High School Students in China: A Cross-Sectional Survey Study

Zixue Tai, Huan Chen, Yan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adolescents are found to be more susceptible to being addicted to the smartphone than other demographics. This research was designed to investigate adolescent smartphone addiction among a national sample of 1732 middle school and high school students in China, geographically distributed among metropolises, country-level cities, and small town/rural areas. Multiple linear regression analysis of cross-sectional survey data indicates that important predictors of smartphone addiction include smartphone-based mobile gaming, extended hours spent on the smartphone, and single-family parenting. An age effect was identified in that smartphone addictive symptoms went upward as age increased. A number of smartphone-based activities, such as mobile shopping, selfie-taking, and short video and livestreaming, also contributed significantly to the smartphone addiction scores. It was also found that a special cohort of hitchhikers who mostly rely on using others’ devices displayed a higher tendency to develop addictive symptoms. Findings were discussed in relevance to a broad base of research in relation to adolescent problematic smartphone use in cross-national settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2024.


  • Adolescent
  • Problematic smartphone use
  • Regional differences
  • Smartphone addiction
  • Smartphone usage type
  • Teens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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