Self-regulation strategies of smartphone use during university self-study


  • Rebecca L Barron, BSc (Hons) Edge Hill University
  • Linda K Kaye, PhD Edge Hill University



social media, self-study, smartphones, self-regulation


The role of smartphones within education has received a lot of media and academic attention. This has typically focused on their use in the classroom, within tutor-directed sessions. However, less has been focused on how smartphone use is negotiated within self-study. Using semi-structured interviews, the current study sought to explore final year undergraduate students’ (N = 6) strategies for smartphone self-regulation during self-study time and the extent to which these strategies were effective. IPA revealed three main themes: “Urgency, Context and Consistency”, “Learned Helplessness” and “Fear of Missing out (FoMO)”. The findings extend our understanding of how conceptual frameworks such as self-regulation apply to smartphone regulation during self-study, and provide insight into the barriers for effective regulatory behaviour. Implications for both self-study efficacy and smartphone regulation are discussed.