Understanding the Link Between Social Skills and Phone Use


  • Kennedy Ralph College of Coastal Georgia
  • Dr. Aurora Ramos Nuñez Mentor, College of Coastal Georgia




social skills, phone use, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, age cohorts, technology, smart phone


Smartphones took the world by storm in the 2000s. Over the years, smartphones have become vital in everyday life. Each generation responds to technology differently. The younger generation is much more involved with smartphones as well as technology as a whole. Thus, spending too much time on a smartphone could be related to individual’s well-being. The purpose of the present study is to measure Emotional Intelligence (EI), mindfulness, and social competence among different age cohorts and see if there are differences in phone use. Our hypothesis is that participants who score higher on EI, Social Skills, and Mindfulness will score lower on the Problematic Phone Usage Scale. Younger adults will score lower on EI, Social Skills, and Mindfulness and higher on Problematic Phone Usage than middle aged and older adults. We ran correlational analyses among, mindfulness, social competence, and problematic phone usage and an ex-post facto comparison between the four cohorts with ages ranging 18-30 (n=105), 31-40 years old (n= 30), 41-50 (n= 30), and 51 and older (n= 21). Survey questions included the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire- Short Form (TEIQ-SF), Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills, Social Competence, and Problematic Phone Usage Scale. Data showed that as age increased phone use decreased. EI, mindfulness, and social competence scores for younger adults were much lower than for middle aged and older adults while younger adults had a significantly larger problematic phone use than middle aged.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

References or Bibliography


Alhassan, A. A., Alqadhib, E. M., & Taha, N. W., Alahmari, R. A., Salam, M. & Almutairi, A. F. (2018). The relationship between addiction to smartphone usage and depression among adults: A cross sectional study. BMC Psychiatry, 18(148), 1-8. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1745-4

Arrivillaga, C., Rey, L., & Extremera, N. (2020). Adolescents' problematic internet and smartphone use is related to suicide ideation: Does emotional intelligence make a difference? Computers in Human Behavior, 110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2020.106375

Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., & Allen, K.B (2004). Assessment of mindfulness by self-report. Assessment, 11(3), 191-206. doi:10.1177/1073191104268029

Bian M, & Leung, L. (2015). Linking loneliness, shyness, smartphone addiction symptoms, and patterns of smartphone use to social capital. Social Science Computer Review, 33(1), 61- 79. doi: 10.1177/0894439314528779

Bianchi, A. & Phillips, J. (2005). Psychological predictors of problem mobile phone use. Cyber Psychology & Behavior, 8(1), 39-51. doi:10.1089/cpb.2005.8.39

Chang, L. (2018). Adult attachment in close relationships and trait emotional intelligence: The moderating role of mindfulness. Dissertation, 501. https://digscholarship.unco.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1488&context=dissertations

Cooper, A., &Petrides, K. V. (2010). A psychometric analysis of the trait emotional intelligence questionnaire short form (TEIQue-SF) using item response theory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92(5), 449-457. doi: 10.1080/0022389.2010.497426

Favotto, L., Michaelson, V., & Davison, C. (2017). Perceptions of the influence of computer mediated communication on the health and well-being of early adolescents. International Journal of Qualitive Studies on Health and Well-Being, 12. doi:10.1080/17482631.2017.1335575

Gao, Y., Li, A., Zhu, T., Liu, X., & Liu, X. (2016). How smartphone usage correlates with social anxiety and loneliness. National Library of Medicine. doi:10.7717/peerj.2197

Giedd, J., Blumenthal, J., Jeffries, N., Castellanos, F., Liu, H., Zijdenbos, A., Paus, T., Evan, A., & Rapoport, J. (1999). Brain development during childhood and adolescence: a longitudinal MRI study. Nature Neuroscience, 2(10), 861-863

Harris B, Regan T, Schueler J, Fields SA. (2020). Problematic Mobile Phone and Smartphone Use Scales: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Psychology, 11:672. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00672

Kaiser, E. (2018). The association between smartphone use and emotional intelligence on romantic relationship satisfaction among young adults. Theses and Dissertations Family Sciences, 62, 1-46.

Kaiser Family Foundation. (2010). Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8- to 18- year- olds. https://www.kff.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/8010.pdf

Kaypakli, G., Metin, O., Varmis, D., Ray, P., Celik, G., Karci, C., Tahiroglu, A. (2020). Technological addictions in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Are they associated with emotional intelligence? Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 62(6). doi:10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_369_19

Kunnanatt, J. (2004). Emotional Intelligence: The new science of interpersonal effectiveness. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 15(4), 489-495.

Mayer, J., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. (2008). Emotional intelligence, new ability or eclectic traits? American Psychologist,63(6),503-517. https://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1353&context=psych_facpub

Munderia, R., & Singh, R. (2019). The relationship between social skills and perceived smartphone usage. Journal of Psychosocial Research, 14(1), 201-210.

Pamuk, M., & Atli, A. (2016). Development of problematic phone usage scale for university students: validity and reliability study. Dusunen Adam: The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences, 49-59. doi:10.5350/dajpn2016290105

Pew Research Center (2019). mobile fact sheet. Internet & Technology. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/

Sarason, B. R., Sarason, I. G., Hacker, T. A., & Basham, R. B. (1985). Concomitants of social support: Social skills, physical attractiveness, and gender. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49(2), 469-480.

Scott, D. A., Valley, B., & Simecka, B. A. (2016). Mental health concerns in the digital age. Int J Mental Health Addiction, 15, 604-613.

Sural, I., Griffiths, M.D., Kircaburun, K. & Emirtekin, E. (2019). Trait emotional intelligence and problematic social media use among adults: The mediating role of social media use motives. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 17(2), 336-345. doi:10.1007/s11469-018-0022-6



How to Cite

Ralph, K., & Ramos Nuñez, A. (2021). Understanding the Link Between Social Skills and Phone Use. Journal of Student Research, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.47611/jsr.v10i3.1315



Research Articles