Prevalence of Smartphone Addiction among University Students in Saudi Arabia: A Multicenter Study
Objective: To find out the prevalence of smartphones addiction among college and university students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and its association with demographic variables
Methodology: A study was conducted in all provinces of KSA between December 2015 to June 2016. An electronic survey was sent to students’ clubs of various universities. Smartphone Addiction Scale (SAS) was used which had 33 closed-ended questions. Total score of SAS was calculated and three categories of addiction was made: low, moderate, high. Questionnaire also included sociodemographic questions, and smartphone usage patterns and addiction behaviour.
Results: The total number of participants was 1941 (response rate of 80.9%) students representing most of the provinces of Saudi Arabia. The prevalence of smartphones addiction was found to be 19.1%. Female participants were more addicted than males (p <0.001). Medical students were less smartphone-addicted than non-medical college students (p = 0.007). Inverse and significant relation between age onset of mobile usage with its addiction was found (p = 0.02).
Conclusion: Prevalence of smartphone addiction found in the present study was not high. However, female and non-medical colleges students were found to be more addicted to smartphones. Those who started using smartphones at an early age were also found to be more addicted. Less awareness about harms of smartphones addiction could be one of the reasons of having high prevalence of addiction among non-medical students and those who started using at a younger age.
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