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To Control or Not to Control – That is the Question: The Influence of Time Spent With Mobile Phones and Perceived Control Over Usage on Well-Being

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Abstract:

No other group besides adolescents is using the mobile phone in such an intensive manner. One reason is that nowadays’ youth grew up with mobile phone and the (mobile) Internet. Moreover, this specific developmental stage is characterized by a strong need to belong to peers and a need for orientation. Both can be fulfilled by means of individual and group communication that also is the most important function of smartphones next to listening to music and watching videos (Ling & Bertel, 2013).
While adolescents mostly see chances and advantages in the use of mobile phones, parents and educators also fear negative outcomes of the “always-on”-mentality of youth, among those digital stress, decreases in school achievements, and an attenuation of life satisfaction.
Against this background, we investigated adolescents’ usage patterns of their mobile phones and several dimensions of well-being that could be negatively affected by an intensive use. N = 1.486 German adolescents aged between 13 and 16 were asked to fill out a questionnaire in the school context. The questionnaire assessed their usage of the mobile phone, several personality traits such as self-control or the need to belong and dimensions of well-being such as stress level, academic performance, and overall satisfaction with life.
Results show that the amount of time spent with the smartphone correlates with stress (+), grades in school (-) and satisfaction with life (-). However, when "loss of control of smartphone usage" is integrated as a mediator, we see that it is not the sheer amount of time spent with the smartphone but rather the perceived loss of control that leads to the negative effects.
We want to discuss these results together with the audience and in synopsis with the results of the other study that is presented in the panel. One matter for discussion is the question, if there is a necessity for a “mobile phone literacy” curriculum for children and adolescents and how it could be designed and implemented in school.
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference
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http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p982546_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hefner, Dorothee., Sowka, Alexandra. and Possler, Daniel. "To Control or Not to Control – That is the Question: The Influence of Time Spent With Mobile Phones and Perceived Control Over Usage on Well-Being" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, <Not Available>. 2018-02-13 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p982546_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hefner, D. , Sowka, A. E. and Possler, D. "To Control or Not to Control – That is the Question: The Influence of Time Spent With Mobile Phones and Perceived Control Over Usage on Well-Being" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico <Not Available>. 2018-02-13 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p982546_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: No other group besides adolescents is using the mobile phone in such an intensive manner. One reason is that nowadays’ youth grew up with mobile phone and the (mobile) Internet. Moreover, this specific developmental stage is characterized by a strong need to belong to peers and a need for orientation. Both can be fulfilled by means of individual and group communication that also is the most important function of smartphones next to listening to music and watching videos (Ling & Bertel, 2013).
While adolescents mostly see chances and advantages in the use of mobile phones, parents and educators also fear negative outcomes of the “always-on”-mentality of youth, among those digital stress, decreases in school achievements, and an attenuation of life satisfaction.
Against this background, we investigated adolescents’ usage patterns of their mobile phones and several dimensions of well-being that could be negatively affected by an intensive use. N = 1.486 German adolescents aged between 13 and 16 were asked to fill out a questionnaire in the school context. The questionnaire assessed their usage of the mobile phone, several personality traits such as self-control or the need to belong and dimensions of well-being such as stress level, academic performance, and overall satisfaction with life.
Results show that the amount of time spent with the smartphone correlates with stress (+), grades in school (-) and satisfaction with life (-). However, when "loss of control of smartphone usage" is integrated as a mediator, we see that it is not the sheer amount of time spent with the smartphone but rather the perceived loss of control that leads to the negative effects.
We want to discuss these results together with the audience and in synopsis with the results of the other study that is presented in the panel. One matter for discussion is the question, if there is a necessity for a “mobile phone literacy” curriculum for children and adolescents and how it could be designed and implemented in school.


 
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