Digital addiction intervention for children and adolescents: A scoping review

Keya DING, Hui LI

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Digital devices play a significant role in the learning and living of children and adolescents, whose overuse or addiction has become a global concern. This scoping review seeks to synthesize existing studies to investigate relevant interventions and their effects on digital addiction in children (ages 0–18). To understand the latest advances, we have identified 17 studies published in international peer-reviewed journals between 2018–2022. The findings revealed that, first, most interventions for digital addiction in children and adolescents were cognitive–behavioral therapies (CBT) or CBT-based interventions, which could improve anxiety, depression, and related symptoms of digital addiction. Second, rather than directly targeting addictive behaviors, some family-based interventions aim to strengthen family functions and relationships. Finally, digital-based interventions, such as website-based, application-based, and virtual reality interventions, are promising in adolescent digital addiction interventions. However, these studies shared the same limitations: small sample sizes, short intervention durations, no control group, and nonrandomized assignments. The small sample size problem is difficult to solve by offline intervention. Meanwhile, online digital-based intervention is still in its infancy, resulting in limited generalizability of the findings and the inability to popularize digital intervention. Accordingly, future intervention studies should integrate various assessments and interventions to form an integrated platform to provide interventions for addicted children and adolescents worldwide. Copyright © 2023 by the authors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4777
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


Ding, K., & Li, H. (2023). Digital addiction intervention for children and adolescents: A scoping review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 20(6), Article 4777.


  • Digital addiction
  • Psychological interventions
  • Digital-based intervention
  • Children and adolescents


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