Smartphone addiction and subjective withdrawal effects: a three-day experimental study

Aarestad, S.H., Flaa, T.A., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524 and Pallesen, S., 2023. Smartphone addiction and subjective withdrawal effects: a three-day experimental study. SAGE Open, 13 (4). ISSN 2158-2440

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Smartphones have arguably become a common necessity in modern society. While they can be used for many practical purposes, their many features increase the risk of overuse, a key element in behavioral addiction. The present study examined withdrawal-related scores on the Smartphone Withdrawal Scale, the Fear of Missing Out Scale, and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule during a smartphone restriction period, lasting 72 h. In total, 127 participants were randomly assigned either to a condition without smartphone access or to a control condition. The scales were administered three times a day during the restriction period and smartphone addiction scores were assessed on Day 1. The results showed that participants with the highest scores on smartphone addiction in the restricted condition were significantly more negatively affected by the restriction (compared to those with lower scores). This appears to indicate that being restricted from using smartphones can generate significant withdrawal symptoms, especially for those at risk of smartphone addiction.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: SAGE Open
Creators: Aarestad, S.H., Flaa, T.A., Griffiths, M.D. and Pallesen, S.
Publisher: Sage
Date: December 2023
Volume: 13
Number: 4
ISSN: 2158-2440
Rights: © the author(s) 2023. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 11 Jan 2024 09:36
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2024 09:36

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