Needing to Connect: The Effect of Self and Others on Young People's Involvement with their Mobile Phones

by Shari Walsh, Katherine Marie White, Ross McD Young
Australian Journal of Psychology ()


The present research was a preliminary examination of young Australians’ mobile phone behaviour. The study explored the relationship between, and psychological predictors of, frequency of mobile phone use and mobile phone involvement conceptualised as people’s cognitive and behavioural interaction with their mobile phone. Participants were 946 Australian youth aged between 15 and 24 years. A descriptive measurement tool, the Mobile Phone Involvement Questionnaire, was developed. Self-identity and validation from others were explored as predictors of both types of mobile phone behaviour. A distinction was found between frequency of mobile phone use and mobile phone involvement. Only self-identity predicted frequency of use whereas both self-identity and validation from others predicted mobile phone involvement. These findings reveal the importance of distinguishing between frequency of use and people’s psychological relationship with their phone and that factors relating to one’s self-concept and approval from others both impact on young people’s mobile phone involvement.

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