Christian Spirituality and Smartphone Addiction in Adolescents: A Comparison of High-Risk, Potential-Risk, and Normal Control Groups

  • Jung Yeon ShimEmail author
Original Paper


The goal of this study was to compare aspects of Christian spirituality such as God’s image and sense of spiritual well-being among three groups: the high-risk, potential-risk and normal control groups for smartphone addiction. Participants were: 11 adolescents in the high-risk group for smartphone addiction; 20 adolescents who were potentially at risk of smartphone addiction, and 254 adolescents who were in the normal control group. The results showed that the high-risk group for smartphone addiction adolescent group showed low levels of spiritual well-being and positive image of God comparing to those in the potential-risk and control groups. Each group had specific and distinctive features. Consideration of potential clinical interventions, limitations of the current study, and suggestions for future research are discussed.


Christian spirituality Smartphone addiction God’s image Spiritual well-being Adolescents 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All participants agree with the informed content to involve this study.


  1. Ahn, E. S. (2013). A study on the Christian counseling method for the restoration of God-image of codependents. Journal of Counseling and Gospel, 21, 156–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahn, H., Wijaya, M. E., & Esmero, B. C. (2014). A systemic smartphone usage pattern analysis: Focusing on smartphone addiction issue. International Journal of Multimedia Ubiquitous Engineering, 9, 9–14. Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5 ® ). American Psychiatric Pub.
  4. Bristow-Braitman, A. (1995). Addiction recovery: 12-step programs and cognitive- behavioral psychology. Journal of Counseling and Development, 73(4), 414–418. Scholar
  5. Calvin, J. (2008). Institutes of the Christian Religion (Kindle ed.). Kissimmee: Signalman Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Chi, F. W., Kaskutas, L. A., Sterling, S., Campbell, C. I., & Weisner, C. (2009). Twelve-step affiliation and 3-year substance use outcomes among adolescents: Social support and religious service attendance as potential mediators. Addiction, 104(6), 927–939. Scholar
  7. Choi, H. S., Lee, H. K., & Ha, J. C. (2012). The influence of smartphone addiction on mental health, campus life and personal relations-Focusing on K university students. Journal of the Korean Data and Information Science Society, 23(5), 1005–1015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cook, C. C. H. (2003). Addiction and spirituality. Addiction, 99, 539–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crews, F., He, J., & Hodge, C. (2007). Adolescent cortical development: a critical period of vulnerability for addiction. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 86(2), 189–199. Scholar
  10. Demarest, B. A. (1999). Satisfy your soul: Restoring the heart of Christian spirituality. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.Google Scholar
  11. Erikson, E. H. (1993). Childhood and society. New York, NY: Norton.Google Scholar
  12. Eum, J., & Ha, E. H. (2014). The Effects of adolescent’s sensation seeking and differences between Internet self-efficacy and real self-efficacy on the Smartphone addiction. The Korea Journal of Youth Counseling, 22(1), 357–374.Google Scholar
  13. Freud, S. (2003). Totem and taboo. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Gamble, J., & O’lawrence, H. (2016). An overview of the efficacy of the 12-step group therapy for substance abuse treatment. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 39(1), 142–160.Google Scholar
  15. Hoekema, A. A. (1994). Saved by grace. Grand Rapids, MI: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  16. Hwang, K. H., Yoo, Y. S., & Cho, O. H. (2012). Smartphone overuse and upper extremity pain, anxiety, depression, and interpersonal relationships among college students. The Journal of the Korea Contents Association, 12(10), 365–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Image [Def. 2]. (2018). Merriam-Webster online. In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved October 2, 2018, from
  18. Jeong, G. C. (2016). Relationships among mental health, Internet addiction, and smartphone addiction in university students. The Journal of the Korea Contents Association, 16(4), 655–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ji, M. K., Kim, Y. M., & Kim, S. Y. (2017). The structural relationships among sports activity engagement, emotional intelligence, smartphone addiction and antisocial tendency for adolescents. The Korean Journal of Physical Education, 56(3), 271–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jung, S. H., & Shin, S. M. (2008). The relationships among spiritual well-being, perceived self-esteem, and behaviors of addictive internet use among Christian college students. Church and Social work, 6, 121–148.Google Scholar
  21. Keller, T., & Alsdorf, K. L. (2014). Every good endeavor: Connecting your work to God’s work. New York, NY: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  22. Kelly, J. F., Brown, S. A., Abrantes, A., Kahler, C. W., & Myers, M. (2008). Social recovery model: An 8-year investigation of adolescent 12-step group involvement following inpatient treatment. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 32(8), 1468–1478. Scholar
  23. Kézdy, A., Martos, T., & Robu, M. (2013). God image and attachment to God in work addiction risk. Studia Psychologica, 55(3), 209–214. Scholar
  24. Kim, B. N. (2013a). Effect of smartphone addiction on youth’s sociality development. The Journal of the Korea Contents Association, 13(4), 208–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim, Y. K. (2013b). The influence of stress on alcohol addiction, Internet addiction and problem gambling: Spiritual well-being as mediator. The Korean Journal of Counseling, 14(1), 97–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kim, H. S., & Jeon, J. (2014). The Effects of spiritual well-being and life events stress in middle-aged Christian women—Centering around mediating effect of depression and self-esteem. Gospel and Counseling, 22(2), 153–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kim, S. K., & Kang, H. B. (2018). An analysis of smartphone overuse recognition in terms of emotions using brainwaves and deep learning. Neurocomputing, 275, 1393–1406. Scholar
  28. Kim, D., Lee, Y., Lee, J., Nam, J. K., & Chung, Y. (2014). Development of Korean Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale for Youth. PLoS ONE, 9(5), 1–8. Scholar
  29. Kim, E. Y., & Park, R. W. (2015a). Smartphone addiction and learning disorder, depression, ADHD association. Journal of the Korea Academia-Industrial cooperation Society, 16(11), 7599–7606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kim, H. S., & Park, S. G. (2015b). Qualitative study about recovery experience of gambling addict through participation in GA. The Korean Journal of Health Psychology, 20(1), 111–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lane, T. S., & Tripp, P. D. (2006). How people change. Greensboro: New Growth Press.Google Scholar
  32. Lee, M. J. (2009). Differences of emotional intelligence and interpersonal relationship disposition according to the internet addiction tendency in adolescents. The Journal of the Korea Contents Association, 9(11), 201–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lee, J. M., Kang, E. J., Kim, M. S., Kam, K. T., & Kim, J. O. (2009). Cognitive psychology. Seoul: Hakjisa.Google Scholar
  34. Loder, J. E. (1998). The logic of spirit–human development in theological perspective. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.Google Scholar
  35. McGrath, A. E. (2013). Christian spirituality: An introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  36. Mehdizadeh, S. (2010). Self-presentation 2.0: Narcissism and self-esteem on Facebook. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13(4), 357–364. Scholar
  37. Ministry Science and ICT, National Information Society Agency. (2018). Korea Smartphone overuse in 2017. Retrieved from
  38. Nguyen, T. T., Bellehumeur, C., & Malette, J. (2015). God images and resilience: A study of Vietnamese immigrants. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 43(4), 271–282. Scholar
  39. Packer, J. I. (2011). Knowing God (Kindle ed.). London: Hodder & Stoughton.Google Scholar
  40. Paloutzian, R. F., & Ellison, C. W. (1982). Loneliness, spiritual well-being and quality of life. In L. A. Peplau & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A source book of current theory, research, research and therapy (pp. 224–237). New York: Wiley Interscience.Google Scholar
  41. Park, J. A. (2003). Relationship to resilience, spiritual well-being and parent attachment, Master degree thesis, Ewha Womans University.Google Scholar
  42. Park, M. J., Oh, J. H., & Shin, S. M. (2014). The relationship between social support and Smartphone addiction: The mediating effect of existential spiritual well-being. The Korean Journal of Health Psychology, 19(2), 1185–1202.Google Scholar
  43. Richards, P. S., Hardman, R. K., & Berrett, M. E. (2007). Spiritual approaches in the treatment of women with eating disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Scholar
  44. Rizzuto, A. M. (1979). The birth of the living God: A psychoanalytic study. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  45. Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9(3), 185–211. Scholar
  46. Seo, M. Y., & Lim, E. M. (2016). The meanings of Smartphone use experiences: Focused on high school students. Korean Journal of Educational Therapist, 8(2), 273–289.Google Scholar
  47. Shim, J. Y. (2016). Christian counseling’s study and approach based on Rizzuto’s God’s image theory. Journal of Counseling and Gospel, 24(2), 183–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shim, J. Y. (2017). Christian spirituality’s dynamics influencing Christian adolescent Smartphone addiction: Based on the Korean brief version of God’s Image Scale. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Chongshin University.Google Scholar
  49. Shin, S. M., Kim, J. E., Oh, J. H., & Koo, C. S. (2011). The relationship between existential spiritual well-being and internet addiction in Adolescents: Mediating effects of self-esteem and depression. The Korean Journal of Counseling, 12(5), 1613–1628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Smith, A. (2015). U. S. Smartphone use in 2015. Retrieved from
  51. Timmons, S. M. (2012). A Christian faith-based recovery theory: Understanding God as sponsor. Journal of Religion and Health, 51(4), 1152–1164. Scholar
  52. Tsuang, M. T., Williams, W. M., Simpson, J. C., & Lyons, M. J. (2002). Pilot study of spirituality and mental health in twins. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159(3), 486–488. Scholar
  53. Wu, A. M., Cheung, V. I., Ku, L., & Hung, E. P. (2013). Psychological risk factors of addiction to social networking sites among Chinese Smartphone users. Journal of Behavioural Addictions, 2(3), 160–166. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chongshin UniversitySeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations