The Digital Addiction Scale for Children: Development and Validation (2019)

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2019 Nov 22. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2019.0132.

Hawi NS1, Samaha M1, Griffiths MD2.


Researchers worldwide have developed and validated several scales to assess various forms of adults’ digital addiction. The urge for some of these scales found support in World Health Organization’s inclusion of gaming disorder as a mental health condition in its eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases in June 2018. Additionally, several studies have shown that children are starting to use digital devices (DDs) (e.g., tablets and smartphones) at a very young age, including playing video games and engaging in social media. Consequently, the need for early detection of the risk of digital addiction among children is becoming more of a necessity. In the present study, the Digital Addiction Scale for Children (DASC)-a 25-item self-report instrument-was developed and validated to assess the behavior of children 9 to 12 years old in association with DD usage, including video gaming, social media, and texting. The sample comprised 822 participants (54.2 percent males), from grade 4 to grade 7. The DASC showed excellent internal consistency reliability (α = 0.936) and adequate concurrent and criterion-related validities. The results of the confirmatory factor analysis showed that the DASC fitted the data very well. The DASC paves the way to (a) help in early identification of children at risk of problematic use of DDs and/or becoming addicted to DDs and (b) stimulate further research concerning children from different cultural and contextual settings.

KEYWORDS: Internet Gaming Disorder; children scale; digital addiction; gaming addiction; social media addiction; technology addiction

PMID: 31755742

DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2019.0132