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The problematic use of smartphones is increasingly common in the population; it is necessary to investigate both the associated factors and the relationship that this situation could have with relevant aspects such as the sense of life and subjective well-being. The objective of this study was oriented to identify the presence of smartphone dependence in a sample of university students in Colombia, Cuba and Mexico and its possible association with the meaning of life, psychological well-being and self-regulation. It was the quantitative study with descriptive-correlational level and cross-sectional design, with the sample of 276 university students from these three countries, with the average age of M 23.5 (Dt 6.7), distributed in the range between 17 and 60 years. The Brief Mobile Phone Dependence Test, the Argentine adaptation of the meaning in life test and the Spanish adaptation of the scales of psychological well-being of Ryff were used. The results of study indicate a trend towards problematic cell phone use in the study sample, related to certain difficulties in commitment to the meaning of life and deficiencies at the level of self-regulation, especially at younger ages. Problematic smartphone use was associated with less sense of life, psychological well-being and self-regulation. As a main conclusion, the healthy use of technology is a priority goal for the education of young people, which requires delaying the age of initiation in the possession of cell phones and tablets, promotion of critical-reflective thinking skills, self-regulation and cognitive, executive, and metacognitive skills.
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