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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Brown Researchers Develop a Scale of Mobile Phone Affinity

Mobile phones have shown promise as an effective delivery tool for health behavior change and disease management. When developing an intervention that is delivered through mobile devices, it is important to consider how an individual uses his/her mobile phone, as mobile phone use may influence the receptivity to, and ultimately the efficacy of, mobile health programs and interventions. Although there are several published measures that assess the use of technology, they are largely derived from the addictions and psychopathology literature and do not consider the positive functions of mobile phone use.

The purpose of this study, led by Dr. Beth Bock, Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences and faculty member in the Centers for Behavioral and Preventative Medicine, was to expand, revise, and validate the psychometric properties of the Mobile Phone Affinity Scale (MPAS), a multi-scale instrument designed to assess key factors associated with mobile phone use.

The initial MPAS consisted of 57 statements about mobile phone use. Participants were asked to report how true each statement was from them, using a 5-point Likert-type response format. A total of 1058 respondents completed the instrument as well as other measures to assess symptoms of anxiety, depressive symptoms, impulsiveness, and psychological resilience. A confirmatory factor analysis supported a 6-factor model. The final measure was compacted to 24 items, with 4 items on each of the six factors: Connectedness, Productivity, Empowerment, Anxious Attachment, Addiction, and Continuous Use. The subscales demonstrated strong internal consistency and high item factor loadings. Tests for validity further demonstrated support for the individual subscales.

The MPAS provides a measure of an individual’s relationship to his/her mobile phone with positive, negative, and neutral valences. This instrument could provide predictive value for mobile health interventions by contributing to an understanding of the relationship individuals have with their mobile devices.

This study was published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth, Volume 4, Issue 4.

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