The Effectiveness of the Online Module ‘Je Smartphone de Baas’ among Dutch University Students in Reducing Smartphone use
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The number of adolescents using a smartphone is still rising across the world. There is increasing evidence that intensive smartphone use can cause negative outcomes, such as lower school results and loss of social well-being. Therefore, Utrecht University developed an online module ‘Je smartphone de baas’ to reduce (problematic) smartphone use among their students. The aim of this experimental study was to investigate the effectiveness of the intervention in reducing problematic smartphone use (PS) and smartphone use during studying (SDS) and if it leads to behavioural change via increased motivation and self-efficacy. A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial was conducted with a final sample of 117 Dutch first-year Interdisciplinary Social Sciences students aged between 17 and 25 years old. One pretest (T0) and two posttest measurements (T1, T2) were conducted. As expected, results showed a significant effect of the intervention on PS. In addition, the intervention was associated with a higher motivation to change one’s smartphone use. Furthermore, the moderation effect implied that students who were more compliant showed less PS T2/SDS T2. In supporting students to change their smartphone use the intervention should be disseminated.