Chronotype and Smartphone Use among Japanese Medical Students

Chronotype and Smartphone Use among Japanese Medical Students

Masahiro Toda (Department of Public Health, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama, Japan), Nobuhiro Nishio (Department of Public Health, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama, Japan), Satoko Ezoe (Shimane University Health Service Center Izumo, Shimane, Japan) and Tatsuya Takeshita (Department of Public Health, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCBPL.2015040106
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Abstract

The authors investigated associations between smartphone use and chronotype. To 196 medical university students, they administered a set of self-reporting questionnaires designed to evaluate smartphone use and chronotype. Respondents were categorized into morning types and evening types: for females, the evening types scored higher for smartphone dependence; the authors also found greater duration of Web browsing service, in particular Twitter, in the evening types. No such correlation was found for male respondents. These findings provide evidence that, particularly for females, smartphone use and/or dependence may be related to chronotype.
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Materials And Methods

Participants

For the study, approved by the Ethics Committee of the Wakayama Medical University, we enrolled 196 medical university students. The students filled out a set of self-reporting questionnaires designed to evaluate smartphone use and chronotype. Statistical analysis was performed on data from 182 respondents (122 males, 60 females) who both possessed smartphones and properly completed all the questionnaire items. Mean (±SD) age for males was 21.7 ± 2.6 years and for females 21.0 ± 2.1 years.

Instruments

Smartphone dependence was evaluated using the Mobile Phone Dependence Questionnaire (MPDQ) (Toda, Monden, Kubo, & Morimoto, 2004, 2006), a self-rating questionnaire which consists of 20 items. Each response is scored on a Likert scale (0, 1, 2, 3). Likert scores for each item are then summed to provide a quantitative consolidated smartphone dependence score ranging from 0 to 60. Higher scores indicate greater dependence. In addition, we also investigated the use time of voice phone, e-mail, Web browsing, and the following online services on smartphones: game, Facebook, LINE, and Twitter. Chronotype was assessed using the Horne and Östberg Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) (Horne & Östberg, 1976), a self-rating questionnaire which consists of 19 items with total score ranging from 16 to 86. Higher scores indicate greater morningness.

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