Can Disordered Mobile Phone Use Be Considered a Behavioral Addiction? An Update on Current Evidence and a Comprehensive Model for Future Research

Joël Billieux, Pierre Maurage, Olatz Lopez Fernandez, Daria J. Kuss, Mark D. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearch

687 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the many positive outcomes, excessive mobile phone use is now often associated with potentially harmful and/or disturbing behaviors (e.g., symptoms of deregulated use, negative impact on various aspects of daily life such as relationship problems, and work intrusion). Problematic mobile phone use (PMPU) has generally been considered as a behavioral addiction that shares many features with more established drug addictions. In light of the most recent data, the current paper reviews the validity of the behavioral addiction model when applied to PMPU. On the whole, it is argued that the evidence supporting PMPU as an addictive behavior is scarce. In particular, it lacks studies that definitively show behavioral and neurobiological similarities between mobile phone addiction and other types of legitimate addictive behaviors. Given this context, an integrative pathway model is proposed that aims to provide a theoretical framework to guide future research in the field of PMPU. This model highlights that PMPU is a heterogeneous and multi-faceted condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral addiction
  • Cyber addiction
  • Mobile phone addiction
  • Mobile phone problematic use

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