New Tool to Assess Digital Addiction in Children

A new study developed and validated a tool for assessing children’s overall addiction to digital devices. The study, which found that more than 12% of children ages 9-12 years were at risk of addiction to digital devices for uses including video gaming, social media, and texting, is published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website through January 9, 2019.

The article entitled “The Digital Addiction Scale for Children: Development and Validation” was coauthored by Nazir Hawi and Maya Samaha, Notre Dame University -Louaize (Mosbeh, Lebanon), and Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University (UK). The researchers based the Digital Addiction Scale for Children (DASC) on the nine diagnostic criteria for addiction. They also mapped it onto six core addiction criteria: preoccupation, tolerance, withdrawal, mood modification, conflict, and relapse. They included three additional criteria: problems (with life necessities that could become uncontrollable due to digital addiction, such as sleep, discord with parents, or academic achievement); deception (how children lie to their parents about the amount of time and what they do on their digital devices); and displacement (parental feelings of disconnectedness from their children that result in compromising the family unit).

“Using validated scales, many pediatricians proactively screen their patients for problematic and risky internet use and internet gaming disorder to identify and address issues that may negatively affect child and adolescent health and wellbeing. The DASC may prove a useful assessment tool for clinicians to also consider,” says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.

About the Journal

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Games for Health Journal, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 90 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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