Article: Examining latent classes of smartphone users
Elhai, J. D., & Contractor, A. A. (2018). Examining latent classes of smartphone users: Relations with psychopathology and problematic smartphone use. Computers in Human Behavior, 82, 159-166.
Little is known about how people use their smartphones, and whether usage patterns are related to psychopathology and problematic smartphone use. We sampled 296 college students, and administered self-report scales to assess frequency of using various smartphone features, and problematic smartphone use. We also assessed psychopathology constructs (ruminative thinking and emotion regulation deficits), and demographics (age and gender) as potential covariates of smartphone use patterns. Using latent class analysis, we identified two distinct classes of smartphone feature use, with one class representing especially heavy use (particularly that of social networking, audio and visual entertainment, and image- and video-taking), and the other class involving light use (particularly that of social networking, audio entertainment and image- and video-taking). Higher levels of rumination, and higher levels of cognitive reappraisal as an emotion regulation strategy, were related to the heavy use class. The heavy use class scored higher on all problematic smartphone use outcome variables. Results aid in understanding the nature and relation of smartphone usage patterns to psychopathology and problematic smartphone usage.