Video game addiction is associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression, a study has found.
Cecilie Schou Andreassen, doctor of psychology and clinical psychologist specialist at Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen (UiB), carried out the study with more than 20, 000 participants.
“Excessively engaging in gaming may function as an escape mechanism for, or coping with, underlying psychiatric disorders in attempt to alleviate unpleasant feelings, and to calm restless bodies”, Dr. Andreassen said.
It also showed that addiction related to video games and computer activities shows sex differences.
“Men seem generally more likely to become addicted to online gaming, gambling, and cyber-pornography, while women to social media, texting, and online shopping”, she said. “Video game addiction is more prevalent among younger men, and among those not being in a current relationship, than others.”
Seven criteria were used to identify video game addiction (developed by Lemmens et al., 2009), where gaming experiences last six months were scored on a scale from Never to Very often:
- You think about playing a game all day long
- You spend increasing amounts of time on games
- You play games to forget about real life
- Others have unsuccessfully tried to reduce your game use
- You feel bad when you are unable to play
- You have fights with others (e.g., family, friends) over your time spent on games
- You neglect other important activities (e.g., school, work, sports) to play games
The study contended that, “scoring high on at least four of the seven items may suggest that you are addicted to video gaming associated with impaired health, work, school and/or social relations.”
The findings were published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, of the American Psychological Association (APA).