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Editorial: The role of digital technology in children and young people's mental health – a triple-edged sword?

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Chris Hollis, Sonia Livingstone, Edmund Sonuga-Barke

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-841
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

King's Authors


The rapid expansion of access to, and engagement with, the Internet and digital technology over the past 15 or so years has transformed the social, educational and therapeutic space occupied by children and young people in contemporary society in remarkable ways. First, it has created previously unimaginable opportunities for learning and development and personal exploration and growth. Second, it seems that the very same qualities and characteristics of the Internet that make these positive contributions possible, such as its immediacy, portability, intimacy, unconstrained reach and lack of supervision and regulation of content, has opened children and young people up to a range of serious social, intellectual and mental health risks. Finally, over and above these 'effects', the digital space is increasingly successfully being harnessed for the identification and treatment of mental health problems. Accordingly, the Internet is not so much a double-, as a triple-edged sword, with regard to children’s mental health.

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