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Internet gaming disorder: investigating the clinical relevance of a new phenomenon

Przybylski, A., K., Weinstein, N. ORCID: and Murayama, K. (2017) Internet gaming disorder: investigating the clinical relevance of a new phenomenon. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174 (3). pp. 230-236. ISSN 0002-953X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16020224


The American Psychiatric Association identified Internet Gaming Disorder as a new potential psychiatric disorder and has recognized that little is known about the prevalence, validity, or cross-cultural robustness of proposed Internet Gaming Disorder criteria. In response to this gap in our understanding, this project estimated the period prevalence of this new potential psychiatric disorder using APA guidance, examined the validity of its proposed indicators, evaluated reliability cross-culturally and across genders, compared it to gold-standard research on gambling addiction and problem gaming, and estimated its impact on physical, social, and mental health. To do so, in a first for this research topic, four survey studies (n = 18,932) with large international cohorts employed an open-science methodology wherein the analysis plans for confirmatory hypotheses were registered prior to data collection. Results showed that of those who play games, more than 2 in 3, did not report any symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder, and findings showed a very small proportion of the general population – between 0.3% and 1.0% – might qualify for a potential acute diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder. Comparison to Gambling Disorder revealed that Internet-based games may be significantly less addictive than gambling and similarly dysregulating as electronic games more generally. The evidence linking Internet Gaming Disorder to game engagement was strong, but links to physical, social, and mental health outcomes were decidedly mixed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:66802
Additional Information:For the response to Yao et al.'s commentary on this article, see
Publisher:American Psychiatric Association


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