A new study provides insight into the factors that influence the fear of being separated from one’s cell phone, also known as nomophobia. An important finding is that improving interpersonal problem-solving skills equates to a reduction in nomophobia. Additionally, emotional intelligence has been found to be associated with stronger interpersonal problem-solving skills and reduced stress. This research is published in the journal Journal of Technology in Behavioral Sciences.
Mobile phones are ubiquitous and the use of this technology is deeply ingrained in our daily habits. Inevitably, modern-day psychological conditions have emerged, one of which is called nomophobia (not cell phone phobia), which describes the discomfort or fear that individuals encountered due to not using mobile phones for long periods of time.
The published literature has mainly focused on how factors such as academic performance, loneliness, and attention are related to nomophobia. In the current study, a team led by Fatma Gizem Karaoglan Yilmaz from Bartin University in Türkiye extended this research.
An initial theoretical framework was put forward by researchers to outline the relationship between nomophobia, emotional intelligence, interpersonal problem solving, perceived stress, and self-esteem.
They suggest that people with nomophobia may feel stressed because of the uncertainty and lack of control that stems from being unable to communicate and lose connection without their phone. Additionally, people with high self-esteem often have social interaction skills, while people with nomophobia may have low self-esteem and have difficulty making connections with others, which further contributes to stress.
Yilmaz and colleagues also suggest that high emotional intelligence, i.e. the ability to understand and manage strong emotions, may prevent the development of nomophobia and subsequently reduce the stress that may be associated with it. related to this disorder.
Finally, individuals with strong interpersonal problem-solving skills have the ability to manage their emotions (i.e., have high emotional intelligence) to solve problems encountered mentally. . The authors suggest that people with nomophobia have difficulty forming interpersonal relationships and therefore difficulty managing stress.
Therefore, this study aimed to explore the accuracy of this complex hypothetical framework in university students.
Data were collected from 543 college students (57% female, 43% male) who volunteered to participate in the online survey. Questionnaires were used to measure these five factors of interest – nomophobia, emotional intelligence, interpersonal problem solving, perceived stress, and self-esteem.
A statistical tool called path analysis was used, allowing Yilmaz and colleagues to unravel the connections between the five factors to understand how they work together and influence each other, and ultimately Let’s draw some main conclusions.
Contrary to what the authors initially believed, emotional intelligence does not have a direct effect on nomophobia.
An increase in emotional intelligence was found to increase interpersonal problem-solving skills, and this was the strongest association found among all the associations analyzed. In other words, individuals who understand their emotions better tend to be better at resolving interpersonal challenges. The researchers also found that as interpersonal problem solving increased, nomophobia also decreased.
Furthermore, increased interpersonal problem solving should lead to reduced perceived stress. “When examining interpersonal problem-solving skills, it shows that communication between people is important. It is known that people with nomophobia have difficulty in social communication,” the authors explain.
“Furthermore, interpersonal problem solving also [known] like solving social problems. [Individuals] experiencing these difficulties will result in high levels of stress. Arguably, individuals who are successful in interpersonal problem-solving situations may also be successful in communication in their social lives. In such situations, they are very good at managing sources of stress.”
Additionally, an increase in emotional intelligence will also lead to a decrease in perceived stress. Yilmaz and colleagues concluded that individuals who cannot use their emotional intelligence positively and effectively cannot regulate their emotions properly during crises. However, nomophobia does not directly influence perceived stress.
Ultimately, increased perceived stress led to decreased self-esteem. In cases of overuse of technology, people have low self-esteem and their perceived stress levels can increase due to this use. Because people with low self-esteem have difficulty interacting socially, they may become more dependent on technology, which can negatively impact their ability to cope with stress.
Although this study provides valuable insights into the complex relationship between nomophobia and various psychological factors, limitations must be considered. For example, the study focused on college students, limiting generalizability to older populations and individuals in the workforce.
Study The Relationship Between Nomophobia, Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal Problem Solving Ability, Perceived Stress, and Self-Esteem in College Students, Authored by Fatma Gizem Karaoglan Yilmaz, Ramazan Yilmaz and Fatih Erdogdu.
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