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Drugs & Health Blog

Teens and “Nomophobia”: Cell Phone Separation Anxiety

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.

Kashfia Nehrin Rahman, center, receives a third-place Addiction Science Award from NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow, left, and Friends of NIDA's Charles O'Keefe.

The NIDA Blog Team

Do you get stressed when you can’t check your texts? Maybe distracted from something you’re supposed to be doing, just because your phone isn’t handy? One teen set out to discover how anxious teens become when they’re separated from their cell phones, and whether the anxiety affects their attention spans.

Kashfia Nehrin Rahman, a high school science student from South Dakota, did a study and found that teens are vulnerable to stress and anxiety when they’re separated from their smartphones. This phenomenon is called “nomophobia,” an abbreviation of “no-more-phone phobia.”

Constant companions

For her study, Kashfia surveyed 54 teens about their cell phone use and tested their stress levels. The survey found that 92 percent of the teens kept their phones on all the time, and 73 percent said they became anxious when their phones had no charge. The teens checked their phones about once every 23 minutes, and 37 percent said they used their phones while driving.

What’s the problem with nomophobia?

Kashfia’s findings may sound familiar to anyone who’s forgotten his or her phone at home all day. Without their phones, the teens had higher blood pressure and heart rates, leading Kashfia to conclude that not having a smartphone around is stressful.

As another part of the study, she had the teens perform several tasks, including a driving-simulator computer game, to test skills such as memory, attention, response time, and impulsivity. The teens’ skills were worse when they were separated from their phones. Kashfia concluded that phone dependency leads to more stress and decreased attention on a task.

Award-winning research

Kashfia’s study won third place and $1,000 in NIDA’s Addiction Science Award competition in May. Read more about the Addiction Science Awards and the other winners’ projects at NIDA’s website!

Congratulations to Kashfia, and to all the other award winners and competitors!

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


This is brilliant! Thank you for your concern Kasfia and using your creativity in a powerful way! Kudo's to you!
Me pops made me read this but I would rather be watching some minecraft letsplays in the youtube. I would much rather be reading this article if dead zombie ninja devils that wore dresses popped up outta no where and fought the main protagonist. GO THS
Awesome article. It's sad that technology has become so important, that our kids, and even many adults, have become so addicted that they have similar withdraws as with drugs People think my husband and I are weird because our 13 and 17 year old daughters don't have phones; I prefer it that way. The school assigned iPad is bad enough.
yoooooooooooooo wooooooooooooah
whats good me hombre
you just sexually harassed that human being. How Dare You! How do you have the audacity to speak to someone like that. You should go live in a hole and never come back. Cheers Mate.
I miss Health and walks outside
this is brilliant
wow this amazing
Very true!!
I like never get my homework done cause of my phone
This article is better then sliced bread. I felt quite endived while me eyeballs consumed the paper with all its knowledge. Just absolutely beuitiful
prob 3 place a book fair (fight me m8)
This Article Helped A Lot! Absolutely Brilliant, I'm going go tell my mum about this article and we will hop on a trolley to east London eat some fish and chips and talk about this brilliant article.
where is my comment that i added a couple of days ago, ive been waiting for 5 days just to see my comment.

Because all comments are moderated, there may be a delay before you see your comment on the site. If you don't see it after a few days, you can submit it again.

ok thank you mate cheers!
This article helped a lot, I cannot believe how informative this article is. ABSOLUTELY amazing.....!!! Congrats to Kashfia (kash flow) Cheers mate... greetings from east stamford town, England
"Kashfia’s study won third place and $1,000 in NIDA’s Addiction Science Award competition in May." Please they got third place in a kindergarten bookfair(fight me M8)
my mother is voldemort and it has been hard for me these past couple months so this article soothed me while I ate salmon. I LOVE SALMON. SALMON IS MY DADDY
I live in East Essex, England, not the U.S. But I can absolutely relate to this article and it's absolutely brilliant. I feel like I'm ready to head off to oxford university and share this amazing experience. My mates in school always get brand new iPhones every year and they go through them fish & chips, they can't seem to be without their phones it's bloody annoying. Every time I play football with me lads they take out their phones and start texting or going on the social media platforms, its absolutely rubbish. I would like to get a aluminium bar and teach me a lesson on the lend lease act and the fish and chips trade embargo. Then they could go get on a trolley and cross the English Channel and never cum back. Anyway good job kashfia, very Inspiring. Good day mates, well done that man!!! kashfia-kash flow Sincerely, Henry
Thank you for your Brilliant comment, it shall be put in my salmon museum. Salmon Salmon is the common name for many species of ray-finned fish in the family Salmonidae. Other fish in the same family include trout, char, grayling and whitefish. Salmon are native to tributaries of the North Atlantic (genus Salmo) and Pacific Ocean (genus Oncorhynchus). Many species of salmon have been introduced into non-native environments such as the Great Lakes of North America and Patagonia in South America. Salmon are intensively farmed in many parts of the world. Typically, salmon are anadromous: they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. However, populations of several species are restricted to fresh water through their lives. Various species of salmon display anadromous life strategies while others display freshwater resident life strategies. Folklore has it that the fish return to the exact spot where they were born to spawn; tracking studies have shown this to be mostly true. A portion of a returning salmon run may stray and spawn in different freshwater systems. The percent of straying depends on the species of salmon.Homing behavior has been shown to depend on olfactory memory.
i agree
I live in a hole. Cheers Mate.
I miss Health