Digital media and wellbeing among children and adolescents in Ticino

+++Publication Alert+++ Boredom and digital media use: A systematic review and meta-analysis



7 July 2023


Nowadays, digital media, especially smartphones, allow to alleviate boredom quickly and conveniently. Numerous studies investigated the relationship between boredom and digital media use, including problematic use. However, a comprehensive overview of these studies is still missing. Following a systematic database search and screening process, we identified 59 empirical studies on boredom and (problematic) digital media use published since 2003. Most studies were cross-sectional (n=52) and focused on problematic use (n=32). The meta-analysis showed a medium-to-large positive association (r=.342) between boredom and problematic digital media use, whereas a small-to-medium association (r=.084) was found for boredom and digital media use. Sub-group analyses showed no differences with respect to sample characteristics, study design, boredom measures, and type of digital media use. However, studies investigating general Internet use reported a stronger association with boredom. Future research should use longitudinal designs to disentangle the direction of the association between boredom and (problematic) digital media use.