Despite its unambiguous advantages, cellular phone use has been associated with harmful or potentially disturbing behaviors. Problematic use of the mobile phone is considered as an inability to regulate one’s use of the mobile phone, which eventually involves negative consequences in daily life (e.g., financial problems). The current article describes what can be considered dysfunctional use of the mobile phone and emphasizes its multifactorial nature. Validated assessment instruments to measure problematic use of the mobile phone are described. The available literature on risk factors for dysfunctional mobile phone use is then reviewed, and a pathways model that integrates the existing literature is proposed. Finally, the assumption is made that dysfunctional use of the mobile phone is part of a spectrum of cyber addictions that encompasses a variety of dysfunctional behaviors and implies involvement in specific online activities (e.g., video games, gambling, social networks, sex-related websites).
Keywords: Addiction, Assessment, Cellular phone, Cyber addiction, Mobile phone, Pathways model, Risk factors, physical proximity, indubitably interferes, gambling