Young people who are hooked on their smartphones may be at an increased risk for depression and loneliness, according to a new study from the University of Arizona.

A growing body of research has identified a link between smartphone dependency and symptoms of depression and loneliness.

In a study of 346 older adolescents, ages 18-20, researcher Matthew Lapierre and his collaborators found that smartphone dependency predicts higher reports of depressive symptoms and loneliness, rather than the other way around.

"There's an issue where people are entirely too reliant on the device, in terms of feeling anxious if they don't have it accessible, and they're using it to the detriment of their day-to-day life."

In the study, which will be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Lapierre and his co-authors focus on smartphone dependency - a person's psychological reliance on the device - rather than on general smartphone use, which can actually provide benefits.

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