Problem electronic device use in a representative sample of adults in Ontario

Mark van der Maas, Hayley A. Hamilton, Jacob Wolpin, Anca R. Ialomiteanu, Jürgen Rehm, Robert E. Mann, Nigel E. Turner, Gina Stoduto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is growing evidence of correlations between the amount of time spent using electronic devices in leisure and negative health outcomes. However, studies often lack indicators of problematic technology use, rarely investigate relationships between such problem use patterns and indicators of poor mental health, and use samples that are unrepresentative of the adult population. Using a representative telephone survey of adults, we applied the Problem Electronic Device Use (PEDU) scale to estimate the level of PEDU in Ontario, Canada, and the associations between PEDU scores and a wide range of outcomes with a series of multivariate logistic regressions. We found an average weekly electronic device use of 15.57 hr, excluding work or school, and moderate to severe problem technology use among 7.9% of the adult population. Moderate to severe PEDU was significantly associated with suicidal ideation, serious psychological distress, problem alcohol use, and treatment for anxiety. Implications for the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-106
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Gambling Issues
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Adults
  • Electronic device
  • Mental health
  • Population survey
  • Problem technology use


Dive into the research topics of 'Problem electronic device use in a representative sample of adults in Ontario'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this