Multidimensional Profiles of Addictive Smartphone Use: A Latent Profile Analysis

Hwajin Yang, Germaine Y.Q. Tng, Shuna S. Khoo, Sujin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Given that crucial psychological attributes of smartphone addiction have been studied in isolation from each other, we examined latent profiles of emotional distress (depression, stress, loneliness, and fear of missing out; i.e., FoMO); protective traits (self-control, mindfulness, grit); the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and approach system (BAS; drive, reward responsiveness, and fun seeking) in relation to addictive smartphone use. We identified three distinctive profiles, using five fit statistics: AIC, BIC, adjusted BIC, an entropy, and LRT. The self-controlled, gritty, and mindful profile (22.7%) was characterized by heightened levels of self-control, grit, and mindfulness but lower levels of emotional distress, BIS, and BAS. The emotionally distressed profile (29.8%) was distinguished by elevated levels of depression, stress, loneliness, FoMO, and BIS, but relatively lower protective traits and BAS. Lastly, the approach sensitive profile (47.5%) corresponded to the normative group characterized by relatively higher BAS but mostly average levels of emotional distress and protective traits. When both global and pairwise comparisons between profiles were performed using Wald tests, we found that the self-controlled, gritty, and mindful profile was associated with significantly lower smartphone addiction tendencies than emotionally distressed or approach sensitive profiles, while the latter two did not differ from each other. These results still held when multiple covariates (age, sex, and income) were controlled for. Using a sophisticated person-centered approach, our findings underscore multidimensional psychological profiles that have different associations with smartphone addiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8410-8423
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a Lee Kong Chian fellowship and grant awarded to Hwajin Yang by Singapore Management University through a research grant (19-C242-SMU-008) from the Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 and a grant awarded to Sujin Yang by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2018S1A5A8027819).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Behavioral approach system (BAS)
  • Behavioral inhibition system (BIS)
  • Emotional distress
  • Latent profile analysis
  • Protective traits
  • Smartphone addiction


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