Determinants of phubbing, which is the sum of many virtual addictions: a structural equation model

J Behav Addict. 2015 Jun;4(2):60-74. doi: 10.1556/2006.4.2015.005. Epub 2015 May 27.


Background and aims: Phubbing can be described as an individual looking at his or her mobile phone during a conversation with other individuals, dealing with the mobile phone and escaping from interpersonal communication. In this research, determinants of phubbing behavior were investigated; in addition, the effects of gender, smart phone ownership and social media membership were tested as moderators.

Methods: To examine the cause-effect relations among the variables of the theoretical model, the research employs a correlational design. Participants were 409 university students who were selected via random sampling. Phubbing was obtained via the scales featuring mobile phone addiction, SMS addiction, internet addiction, social media addiction and game addiction. The obtained data were analyzed using a correlation analysis, multiple linear regression analysis and structural equation model.

Results: The results showed that the most important determinants of phubbing behavior are mobile phone, SMS, social media and internet addictions.

Discussion: Although the findings show that the highest correlation value explaining phubbing is a mobile phone addiction, the other correlation values reflect a dependency on the phone.

Conclusions: There is an increasing tendency towards mobile phone use, and this tendency prepares the basis of phubbing.

Keywords: Internet; addiction; mobile phone; phubber; phubbing; social media; structural equation model.

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology*
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Smartphone / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult

Grant support

No financial support was received for this study.