AIMS AND HYPOTHESIS: aims of this study were to describe the prevalence of nomophobia and cyber-bullying phenomena in an adolescent population, explore the association between nomophobia and cyber-bullying and confirm the potential risk for the mental health of nomophobia and cyber-bullying. BACKGROUND: Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have changed the world in which we live. This has positive implications but some negative aspects are emerging and an age group that is particularly sensitive is the developmental age (0-18 years). Nomophobia (fear of being without mobile phone) and cyber-bullying are of particular interest for the potential interplay between them and their intrinsic relationship with mental health. There is some evidence that nomophobia and cyber-bullying are interconnected but this association has been evaluated indirectly. METHODS: The data presented in this study derived from a school-based population survey that included 2959 students in the metropolitan city of Naples – Italy. The survey included several questions for nomophobia phenomena (smartphone addiction SA, Ringxiety RA, Phantom phone signal PPS) and for cyber-bullying (victimization and perpetration). For general psychopathological screening, the Italian version of the Strenght and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used. To explore the association between nomophobia and cyber-bullying an Odd Ratios analysis was carried out. Finally correlation analyses have been carried out in order to inform about the association between nomophobia and cyber-bullying and psychopathology dimensions. RESULTS: 69% of participants (n = 2042) have SA, 1343 (45.4%) students reported a RA, PPS was present in 1709 (57.8%) participants. 392 (13.2%) and 231 (7.8%) adolescents endorsed respectively cyber-victimization and cyber-perpetration behaviours. SA was associated with cyber-perpetration, OR = 1.47, p < .05; 95% CI [1.08; 2.02]. RA was associated with both cyber-victimization, OR = 1.51, p < .001, 95% CI [1.22; 1.87], and cyber-perpetration, OR = 3.01, 95% CI [2.25; 4.02], p < .001. PPS was associated with both cyber-victimization, OR = 1.34, p < .01, 95% CI [1.07; 1.67], and cyber-perpetration, OR = 2.15, 95% CI [1.59; 2.91], p < .001. Correlation analyses confirmed the association of nomophobia and cyber-bullying with the psychopathology scores. CONCLUSION: Nomophobia and cyber-bullying are frequent among the adolescent population. Nomophobia increase especially cyber-perpetration behaviours and both phenomena are associated with psychopathology dimensions such as emotional problems, hyperactivity, conduct problems and total problems.
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