Smartphone Addiction among University Students and Its Relationship with Academic Performance

  •  Jocelyne Boumosleh    
  •  Doris Jaalouk    


BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE: Smartphone use is almost universally relied on among college students. Whether smartphone addiction among college students has a negative predictive effect on academic performance is hardly studied. Previous research found an apparent association between smartphone use and academic achievement partly explained by the nature of the task the student is engaged in when using a smartphone. This study aims to assess the relationship between smartphone addiction and students’ academic performance controlling for important potential confounding variables.

METHODS: A sample of 688 undergraduate students was randomly selected from Notre Dame University, Lebanon. Students were asked to fill out a questionnaire that included a) questions on variables related to socio-demographics, academics, smartphone use, and lifestyle behaviors; and b) a 26-item Smartphone Addiction Inventory (SPAI) Scale. Multiple logistic regression was performed to assess the independent association between smartphone addiction and cumulative grade point average (GPA).

RESULTS: 49% reported smartphone use for at least 5 hours during a weekday. Controlling for confounding effects in the model, the association between total SPAI score and GPA did not reach statistical significance, whereas alcohol drinking (OR= 2.10, p=0.026), age at first use of smartphone (OR=1.20, p=0.042), use of smartphone for study-related purposes (OR=0.31, p=0.000), class (OR=0.35 (senior vs. sophomore standing), p=0.024), and faculty (ORs of 0.38 and 0.35 (engineering and humanities, respectively, vs. business students)) were found to be independent predictors of reporting a GPA of < 3.

CONCLUSION: Findings from our study can be used to better inform college administrators and faculty about most-at- risk groups of students who shall be targeted in any intervention designed to enhance low academic performance.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.