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Combatting digital addiction: Current approaches and future directions

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journal contribution
submitted on 2023-10-17, 07:33 and posted on 2023-10-17, 12:09 authored by Deniz Cemiloglu, Mohamed Basel Almourad, John McAlaney, Raian Ali

In recent years, the notion of digital addiction has become popular. Calls for solutions to combat it, especially in adolescents, are on the rise. Whilst there remains debate on the status of this phenomenon as a diagnosable mental health condition; there is a need for prevention and intervention approaches that encourage individuals to have more control over their digital usage. This narrative review examines digital addiction countermeasures proposed in the last ten years. By countermeasures, we mean strategies and techniques for prevention, harm reduction, and intervention towards addictive digital behaviours. We include studies published in peer-reviewed journals between 2010 and 2021 and based on empirical evidence. In total, 87 studies were included in the review. The findings show that the main countermeasures could be grouped under four categories: psycho-social, software mediated, pharmacological, and combined. Overall, it has been shown that the proposed countermeasures were effective in reducing addictive digital use. However, a general statement on the efficacy of proposed countermeasures cannot be made due to inconsistent conceptualisation of digital addiction and methodological weaknesses. Accordingly, this review highlights issues that need to be addressed in future studies.

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Published in: Technology in Society
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU