Margaret Johnson

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: Smartphone addiction is a rising problem in the United States. The current study estimated the prevalence of smartphone addiction in Rhode Island young adults and its associations with mental illness. Methods: The 2022 Rhode Island Young Adult Survey measured smartphone addiction, depression, anxiety, and suicide ideation. Covariates included age, sex/gender minority status, race/ethnicity, and social status. Results: The prevalence of smartphone addiction was 34%. Odds of experiencing depression (OR[95%CI]=2.69 [2.05,3.52]), anxiety (OR[95%CI]=2.06 [1.58,2.69]), and suicide ideation (OR[95%CI]=1.55 [1.08,2.20]) were greater in participants with smartphone addiction. The relationship between smartphone addiction and depression was strongest in heterosexual cis-males (OR[95%CI] = 8.45 [3.53, 20.3]). Discussion: Smartphone addiction is prevalent among Rhode Island’s young adults and may be associated with depression, anxiety, and suicide ideation. Heterosexual cis-males may be particularly vulnerable. Clinic-based screening programs for all young adults, and particularly young men, should be considered.

Faculty Mentor

Jonathan Noel, PhD, MPH

Academic Discipline

BS - Public Health



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