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    Exploring the dimensions of smartphone distraction: development, validation, measurement invariance, and latent mean differences of the Smartphone Distraction Scale (SDS)

    Throuvala, M.A. and Pontes, Halley and Tsaousis, I. and Griffiths, M.D. and Rennoldson, M. and Kuss, D.J. (2021) Exploring the dimensions of smartphone distraction: development, validation, measurement invariance, and latent mean differences of the Smartphone Distraction Scale (SDS). Frontiers in Psychiatry 12 , ISSN 1664-0640.

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    Abstract

    Background: Distraction is a functional emotion regulation strategy utilized to relieve emotional distress. Within the attention economy perspective, distraction is increasingly associated with digital technology use, performance impairments and interference with higher-order cognitive processes. Research on smartphone distraction and its association with problematic smartphone use is still scarce and there is no available psychometric assessment tool to assess this cognitive and emotive process parsimoniously. Method: The present study reports the development and evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Smartphone Distraction Scale (SDS) through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, construct validity, gender invariance, and latent mean differences. The study was conducted in a sample of British university students (N = 1,001; M = 21.10 years, SD = 2.77). Results: The 16-item SDS was best conceptualized in a four-factor model solution comprising attention impulsiveness, online vigilance, emotion regulation, and multitasking. Construct validity was established using relevant psychosocial and mental health measures, with SDS scores being moderately associated with deficient self-regulation and problematic social media use. Gender measurement invariance was achieved at the configural, metric, and scalar levels, and latent mean differences indicated that females had significantly higher means than males across all four SDS latent factors. Discussion: The SDS presents with several strengths, including its theoretical grounding, relatively short length, and sound psychometric properties. The SDS enables the assessment of distraction, which appears to be one of the pathways to problematic smartphone use facilitating overuse and overreliance on smartphones for emotion regulation processes. The assessment of distraction in relation to problematic use in vulnerable populations may facilitate interventions that could encourage metacognition and benefit these groups by allowing sustained productivity in an increasingly disrupted work and social environment.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): smartphone use, distraction, attention, social media use, smartphone distraction scale
    School: School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Organizational Psychology
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 13 May 2021 12:02
    Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 07:36
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/44263

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