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The Relationship between Reasons for Smartphone Use, Addictive Use Tendencies, Fear of Missing Out, Depression, and Life Satisfaction: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis.

Psychopathology 2024 April 27
INTRODUCTION: In the present cross-sectional study, we investigated whether reasons for smartphone use are similar to those of social media use. Also, we explored links between reasons of smartphone use and mental health variables (problematic smartphone use, FOMO, depression symptoms, and life satisfaction) in Germany during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

METHODS: Overall, 571 smartphone users (Mage = 31.60, SDage = 12.73) provided their reasons for smartphone use. The reasons were assigned to six categories by an inductive qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: Five of six reasons were similar to those of social media described by previous research. "Search for social interaction" goes along with less problematic smartphone use and depression symptoms and more life satisfaction. "Search for positive feelings" is associated with lower life satisfaction. More depressed people, those with problematic smartphone use tendencies, higher FOMO, and lower life satisfaction tend to "escape from negative emotions."

DISCUSSION: Our results help to understand the relationships between reasons for smartphone use and mental health variables.

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