Journal List > J Korean Acad Nurs Adm > v.21(3) > 1051802

Dan, Bae, Koo, Wu, and Kim: Relationship of Smartphone Addiction to Physical Symptoms and Psychological Well-being among Nursing Students: Mediating Effect of Internet Ethics



This study was done to identify the status of smartphone addiction among nursing students and to examine the mediating effects of Internet ethics on the relationship between smartphone addiction, physical symptoms and psychological well-being.


Data were collected between May 20 and June 23, 2014. Participants were a convenience sample of 214 nursing students of one university in Seoul. Structured questionnaires were used to measure degree of smartphone addiction, physical symptoms, psychological well-being and Internet ethics. Data was analyzed using Independent t-test, One-way ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficient, multiple hierarchical regression.


Of the nursing students, 14.5% had high level of risk of smartphone addiction and 16.8% had potential risk. Higher frequency of physical symptoms and lower level of Internet ethics were related to the higher level of smartphone addiction. Voluntary-control in Internet ethics had mediating effects on the relationship between smartphone addiction and physical symptoms.


The results suggest that the level of smartphone addiction may lowered in nursing students by intensifying Internet ethics especially voluntary-control. Based on these findings, Internet ethics program for nursing students should be developed to facilitate the effective use of smartphones.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Differences in Physical Symptoms, Psychological Well-being, Internet Ethics and Smartphone Addiction according to Characteristics of Participants (N=214)


*Items of communication: SNS, E-mail, Phone call, Text message. The numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, 4,) indicate the number of the choice of items in the category; Items of entertainment: Listening to musics, Watching movies or TV programs, Game, Taking pictures; Items of personal work: Searching web, Internet shopping, Internet banking.

Table 2

Level of Physical Symptoms, Psychological Well-being and Internet Ethics (N=214)


*Duplicate answer.

Table 3

Correlations among Smartphone Addiction, Physical Symptoms, Psychological Well-being, and Internet Ethics (N=214)

Table 4

Hierarchical Regression Analysis on Physical Symptoms and Psychological Well-being (N=214)



The work was supported by the 2014 research grant fund in Korean Academy of Nursing Administration.


1. National Information Society Agency. 2013 Survey on the internet addiction. Report No.: NIA V-RER-13077. Seoul: National Information Society Agency;2014.
2. Lim JM, Yoo JY, Jang SJ, Lee JH, Yoo JM. 2013 survey on the internet usage. Seoul: Korea Internet & Security Agency;2013. 12.
3. Park JY. Overcome smartphone addiction in this way. Seoul: Hyesung;2013.
4. Ryu HC. Smart-phone addiction youth activation plan in accordance with ethical. J Hum Right Welf. 2013; 13:103–122.
5. Yun JY, Moon JS, Kim MJ, Kim YJ, Kim HA, Huh BL, et al. Smart phone addiction and health problem in university student. J Korean Assoc Crisis Emerg Manage. 2011; 3(2):92–104.
6. National Information Society Agency. A study on features and intervention strategies of smart-media addiction. Report No.: NIA IV-RER-12090. Seoul: National Information Society Agency;2012.
7. Mortazavi SMJ, Atefi M, Kholghi F. The pattern of mobile phone use and prevalence of self-reported symptoms in elementary and junior high school students in Shiraz, Iran. Iran J Med Sci. 2011; 36(2):96–103.
8. Kim MK, Park JH. Factors influencing the level of internet ethics and its relationship with internet violence among adults. J Consum Policy Stud. 2008; (33):65–91. DOI: 10.15723/jcps.45.3.201412.1.
9. Kim KH, Cha EJ. The influence of internet addiction on cyber delinquency among middle school students: Testing the mediating effect of internet ethics. Health Soc Welf Rev. 2012; 32(2):364–401.
10. Myung JJ, Lee HT. A meta-analysis of cyberethics research and critical evaluation from a perspective of information human rights. Inf Policy. 2013; 20(1):3–21.
12. Lee CH. Relationship among the campus students' internet use, internet addiction tendency, information and communication ethics. Gyeongin Natl Univ Educ J Educ. 2005; 25(2):115–145.
12. Goo BH, Choi MJ. Factors influencing internet addiction and information ethics: Centering on self characteristics and cognitive characteristics toward internet. J Inf Syst. 2006; 15(3):233–252.
13. Lee BI, Kim SW, Kim YJ, Bae JY, Woo SK, Woo HN, et al. The relationship between smartphone usage time and physical and mental health of university students. J Korean Soc Sch Health. 2013; 26(1):45–53.
14. Baek HC, Lee SJ, Ko YA, Yang SH. Factors affecting health promoting lifestyle in nursing students. J Korean Acad Public Health Nurs. 2011; 25(1):73–83.
15. National Information Society Agency. Development of Korean smartphone addiction proneness scale for youth and adults. Report No.: NIA IV-RER-11051. Seoul: National Information Society Agency;2011.
16. Keyes CL, Wissing M, Potgieter JP, Temane M, Kruger A, van Rooy S. Evaluation of the mental health continuum-short form (MHC-SF) in Setswana-speaking South Africans. Clin Psychol Psychother. 2008; 15(3):181–192. DOI: 10.1002/cpp.572.
17. Lim YJ, Ko YG, Shin HC, Cho YR. Psychometric evaluation of the mental health continuum-short form (MHC-SF) in South Koreans. Korean J Psychol Gen. 2012; 31(2):369–386.
18. Korea Internet & Security Agency. Self-diagnosis about sense of internet ethics [Internet]. Seoul: Korea Internet & Security Agency;2012. cited 2014 April 20. Available from:
19. Baron RM, Kenny DA. The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1986; 51:1173–1182.
20. Jeon HS, Jang SO. A study on the influence of depression and stress on smartphone addiction among university students: Focused on moderating effect of gender. Korean J Youth Stud. 2014; 21(8):103–129.
21. Park NS, Lee HJ. Nature of youth smartphone addiction in Korea-Diverse dimensions of smartphone use and individual traits. J Communic Res. 2014; 51(1):100–132.
22. Kim NS, Lee KE. Effects of self-control and life stress on smart phone addiction of university students. J Korean Soc Health Inf Health Stat. 2012; 37(2):72–83.
23. Lee DH, Sohn SH. Is there a gender difference in mobile phone usage? Korean J Broadcasting. 2006; 20(1):249–284.
24. Nam YO, Lee SJ. Risk and protective factors, and mental health in youth's internet addiction by the addiction types. Korean J Soc Welf. 2005; 57(3):195–222.
25. Hong HS, Lee IK, Cho H, Kim HS. Development of education courseware for clinical care classification system based PC and smartphone. J Korean Soc Internet Inf. 2011; 12(3):49–56.
26. Chu BW. Self-diagnosis results of internet ethics. Internet Ethics. 2009; 2(12):54–59.
27. Im KG, Hwang SJ, Cho MI, Seo NR, Byun JN. The correlation between smartphone addiction and psychiatric symptoms in college students. J Korean Soc Sch Health. 2013; 26(2):124–131.
28. Kim JK. Toronbang of internet media as a media of civil participation: Possibility and limits. Discourse 201. 2006; 9(3):33–79.
29. Kang HY, Park CH. Development and validation of the smartphone addiction inventory. Korean J Psychol Gen. 2012; 31(2):563–580.
30. Jang S, Lee O. Relationship of ethics consciousness in internet and moral behavior: Analysis of the relation among moral judgement, information ethics judgement and internet ethics consciousness of undergraduate students. J Korean Assoc Comput Educ. 2014; 17(2):11–19.
Similar articles