Application of the COM-B model to the correlates of children’s outdoor playing and the potential role of digital interventions: a systematic literature review
Children’s reduced engagement in outdoor playing in recent years has contributed to increasing academic and practice interests in understanding this behavior, as well as investigating the effectiveness of combined social, physical and digital interventions on stimulating children’s outdoor playing. This paper provides a systematic review of recent empirical evidence on the correlates of the outdoor playing behavior of children, ages 4–12. In addition, the potential roles of digital interventions in stimulating children’s outdoor playing are explored. The COM-B behavior change model is used to establish relevant correlates and functions of digital interventions. COM-B model defines behavior as the result of an interaction between three components: capability, opportunity and motivation. This model provides a basis for designing effective behavior change interventions. This paper’s contribution is twofold: it presents the case for adding ‘digital environment’ as a new component of the COM-B model, and it further develops a conceptual framework of different functions of digital interventions aiming at stimulating children’s outdoor playing behavior. The findings contribute to the theory-based behavior change interventions stimulating children’s outdoor playing.