Smartphone use is popular among college students and it provides tremendous opportunities for learning and innovation for students, however its over use may negatively impact their daily lives. Smartphone use has been studied in a general collegiate population, but has not been assessed among student athletes. Student athlete’s schedules are interspersed with practice, strength training and school, leaving less free time than peers. This study assessed student athletes’ prevalence of smartphone uses utilizing the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale (MPPUS). Students (n=124) recreational and varsity athletes ages 18-24 participated in this study (18-20 years 70.2% and 21-23 years 29.8%, 63.7% female and 36.3% males, 14.5% freshmen, 28.2% sophomore, 35.5% Junior, and 27% senior and up). The internal consistency of the MPPUS survey (Cronbach Alpha) was 0.89 and average total score on the MPPUS (out of 130) was 68.84+ 12.58. Among different sport affiliations, volleyball athletes had the highest score of 77.20, followed by swimming 73.46, basketball 73.22, soccer 69.17, tack & field 67.70, hockey 65.80, golf & football 65.50, winter sports 63.0, and lacrosse athletes had lowest score of 62.40 on the MPPUS scale. There was no statistically significant difference on the MPPUS scores among gender, year in school, and sports affiliation. The smartphone uses among athletes was high with only about 8.1% of athletes utilizing the American Academia of Pediatrics recommended 1-2 hours of cell phone use per day. From the remaining 91.9% of athletes, 51.6% used 2-4 hours, 30.6% used 4-6 hours, and 9.7% used more than 6 hours per day. These findings confirmed that the prevalence of smartphone use among college athletes was high. Public health intervention discouraging the excessive use of smartphone among athletes is warranted.
School of Health and Human Performance
Dr. Yuba Gautam
Faculty Advisor Email
Huebner, Amber M., "Prevalence of Recreational and Varsity Athlete’s Cell Phone Uses at a Midwestern University in the United States" (2021). Celebration of Student Scholarship. 25.