Relationship between shyness and mobile phone addiction in Chinese young adults: Mediating roles of self-control and attachment anxiety

Lei Han, Jingyu Geng, Min Jou, Fengqiang Gao, Huayong Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Mobile phones are indispensable for many young adults, but such devices may negatively affect their mental health and well-being. Previous studies revealed a significant association between shyness and mobile phone addiction. This study further explored this association, its underlying mechanisms, and the mediating effects of self-control and attachment anxiety of mobile phone addiction. Investigational methods included a cross-sectional design and multiple questionnaires, namely the College Students' Shyness Scale, Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory, College Students' Self-Control Scale, and Mobile Phone Addiction Index. Correlation analysis indicated that shyness, attachment anxiety, and mobile phone addiction have significant, positive correlations with each other, as well as significant, negative correlations with self-control. Hayes's PROCESS macro revealed that self-control and attachment anxiety played multiple mediation roles in the relationship between shyness and mobile phone addiction. In other words, (1) shyness was negatively associated with mobile phone addiction, (2) both attachment anxiety and self-control played partial and parallel mediating roles between shyness and mobile phone addiction, and (3) attachment anxiety and self-control mediated the link between shyness and mobile phone addiction sequentially. The results of this study indicate that mobile phone addiction among shy young adults can be eliminated through the development of self-control and alleviation of attachment anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov



  • Attachment anxiety
  • Mobile phone addiction
  • Multiple mediating effects
  • Self-control
  • Shyness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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