Nomophobia: is the fear of being without a smartphone associated with problematic use?

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Mobile phones are changing behaviour, relationships, communication and the dynamics of physical environments. As such, reliance on the device for everyday activities has increased. Consequently, “nomophobia”, defined as the fear of being without one’s mobile phone, has emerged as a new phobia. The current study aimed to determine if nomophobia can increase the likelihood of problematic dependent, prohibited and dangerous mobile phone use. The sample comprised 2838 participants (males n = 1337 females n = 1501) recruited from various online platforms. The instrument used to measure nomophobia was the Nomophobia Questionnaire (NMP-Q), while problematic mobile phone use was measured using the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPUQ-R). The findings revealed a strong positive correlation between nomophobia and all three problematic use factors. In addition to nomophobia, regression models revealed younger age and more time spent on a mobile phone per day significantly increased problematic dependency, prohibited use and dangerous use. Males were more likely to engage in prohibited and dangerous use, while no significant gender differences were found in dependent use. These findings support the need for further research into the relationship between nomophobia and specific aspects of problematic mobile phone use, such as using a mobile phone while driving.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6024
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Dangerous mobile phone use
  • Mobile phone dependency
  • Nomophobia
  • Problematic mobile phone use
  • Prohibited mobile phone use

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