Title: Heads-down tribes across four Asian countries: antecedents of smartphone addiction

Authors: Yu-Kang Lee; Chun-Tuan Chang; You Lin; Zhao-Hong Cheng

Addresses: Department of Political Economy, National Sun Yat-Sen University, 70 Lienhai Road, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan ' Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-Sen University, 70 Lienhai Road, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan ' Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-Sen University, 70 Lienhai Road, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan ' Department of Business Administration, Chang Jung Christian University, No.1, Changda Road, Gueiren District, Tainan City 71101, Taiwan

Abstract: Mobile technologies have changed the way people interact with surroundings. We propose a theoretical model to explain the influences of social interaction anxiety and materialism on the utilitarian and self-expressive benefits associated with smartphones, and how these benefits lead to the development of smartphone addiction. Locus of control is proposed as the moderator between the benefits and addiction. Empirical data from four major Asian countries - China (n = 358), Japan (n = 308), South Korea (n = 292) and Taiwan (n = 342) - were analysed with structural equation modelling. The results suggest that materialistic users tend to perceive smartphones as having both self-expressive and utilitarian benefits and that such perception may lead to smartphone addiction. However, the relationship between social interaction anxiety and these two types of benefits differs somewhat across the four countries. Social interaction anxiety positively relates to self-expressive and utilitarian benefits only in China, not in Taiwan, South Korea or Japan. Finally, multi-group analysis confirms that locus of control moderates the relationship between self-expressive benefits and smartphone addiction only in China and that locus of control moderates the relationship between utilitarian benefits and smartphone addiction in China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Keywords: locus of control; materialism; mobile technologies; perceived benefits of smartphone; smartphone addiction; social interaction anxiety.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMC.2017.084863

International Journal of Mobile Communications, 2017 Vol.15 No.4, pp.414 - 436

Available online: 28 Apr 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article