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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
ST and XW performed the statistical analyses, interpreted the findings and drafted the manuscript. YW and SZ were responsible for participant recruitment and data collection. JH participated in the manuscript preparation. FT obtained funding, designed the study, and proof read and revised the article. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Unintentional injuries are a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in adolescents. Mobile phone use in certain circumstances (e.g., driving, cycling, walking) and mental health conditions are risk factors for unintentional injury. However, research on the interactions between problematic mobile phone use (PMPU) and psychopathological symptoms in unintentional injuries is limited. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of unintentional injuries (road traffic injuries, pedestrian collisions, and falls) and examined interactions of PMPU and psychopathological symptoms with unintentional injuries in a school-based sample of Chinese adolescents.
A total of 14,221 students (6915 middle school students and 7306 high school students) were randomly selected from 32 schools in four cities in China in 2012. The sample comprised 6712 boys and 7509 girls with a mean age of 15.12 years (standard deviation 1.89 years). PMPU, psychopathological symptoms, and unintentional injuries were measured with validated instruments. Chi-square tests and multivariable logistic regression were used to analyze the rates of unintentional injuries, the relationship with PMPU and psychopathological symptoms, and the interactions of PMPU and psychopathological symptoms with unintentional injuries.
The prevalence of road traffic injuries, pedestrian collisions, and falls were 4.9, 16.2, and 10.1 %, respectively. The rates of unintentional injuries were higher among students with PMPU and psychopathological symptoms. Interaction analysis indicated that psychopathological symptoms were associated with a greater increase in the likelihood of unintentional injuries for adolescents with PMPU than for those without PMPU.
The findings indicate that unintentional injuries in adolescents are an important public health issue in China that merit further research. Intervention programs must consider the adolescents’ behavioral and psychological health.