Problematic Mobile Phone and Smartphone Use Scales: A Systematic Review.
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The popularity of smartphones is undeniable in nearly all facets of society. Despite the many benefits attributed to the technology, concern has grown over the potential for excessive smartphone use to become problematic in nature. Due to the growing concerns surrounding the recognized and unrecognized implications of smartphone use, great efforts have been made through research to evaluate, label and identify problematic smartphone use mostly through the development and administration of scales assessing the behavior. This study examines 78 existing validated scales that have been developed over the past 13 years to measure, identify or characterize excessive or problematic smartphone use by evaluating their theoretical foundations and their psychometric properties. Our review determined that, despite an abundance of self-report scales examining the construct, many published scales lack sufficient internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Additionally, there is a lack of research supporting the theoretical foundation of many of the scales evaluated. Future research is needed to better characterize problematic smartphone use so that assessment tools can be more efficiently developed to evaluate the behavior in order to avoid the excessive publication of seemingly redundant assessment tools.