Problematic technology use during adolescence: why don’t teenagers seek treatment?

Article English OPEN
Griffiths, MD (2015)
  • Publisher: Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU)

In recent issues of Education and Health, I have briefly reviewed the empirical evidence relating to problematic use of technology by adolescents including online video gaming (Griffiths, 2014), social networking (Griffiths, 2013a; Kuss & Griffiths, 2011), and mobile phone use (Griffiths, 2013b). Most of the research studies that have examined ‘technological addictions’ during adolescence have indicated that a small but significant minority experience severe problems resulting in detriments to education, physical fitness, psychological wellbeing, and family and personal relationships (Griffiths, 2010; Kuss, Griffiths, Karila & Billieux, 2014). Given these findings, why is it that so few teenagers seek treatment? This article briefly outlines a number of reasons why this might be the case by examining other literature on adolescent drug use and adolescent gambling (e.g., Chevalier & Griffiths, 2005; 2005; Griffiths, 2001). Three different types of explanation are discussed: (i) treatment-specific explanations, (ii) research-related explanations, and (iii) developmental and peer group explanations.
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