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Open Access Research article

The association between problematic cellular phone use and risky behaviors and low self-esteem among Taiwanese adolescents

Yuan-Sheng Yang1, Ju-Yu Yen12, Chih-Hung Ko12, Chung-Ping Cheng3 and Cheng-Fang Yen14*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Tzyou 1st Rd., Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan

2 Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Chih-Chuan 1st Rd., Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan

3 Department of Psychology, National Chung Cheng University, 168 University Road, Minhsiung Township, Chiayi County 62102, Taiwan

4 Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:217  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-217

Published: 28 April 2010

Abstract

Background

Cellular phone use (CPU) is an important part of life for many adolescents. However, problematic CPU may complicate physiological and psychological problems. The aim of our study was to examine the associations between problematic CPU and a series of risky behaviors and low self-esteem in Taiwanese adolescents.

Methods

A total of 11,111 adolescent students in Southern Taiwan were randomly selected into this study. We used the Problematic Cellular Phone Use Questionnaire to identify the adolescents with problematic CPU. Meanwhile, a series of risky behaviors and self-esteem were evaluated. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were employed to examine the associations between problematic CPU and risky behaviors and low self-esteem regarding gender and age.

Results

The results indicated that positive associations were found between problematic CPU and aggression, insomnia, smoking cigarettes, suicidal tendencies, and low self-esteem in all groups with different sexes and ages. However, gender and age differences existed in the associations between problematic CPU and suspension from school, criminal records, tattooing, short nocturnal sleep duration, unprotected sex, illicit drugs use, drinking alcohol and chewing betel nuts.

Conclusions

There were positive associations between problematic CPU and a series of risky behaviors and low self-esteem in Taiwanese adolescents. It is worthy for parents and mental health professionals to pay attention to adolescents' problematic CPU.