Individuals who are male, impulsive and have limited social skills have higher risk for internet gaming disorder, according to data presented at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting.
To characterize internet gaming disorder, Paul E. Weigle, MD, of Natchaug Hospital, Mansfield, Connecticut, conducted an ongoing, exhaustive literature review of studies on internet gaming disorder.
Diagnosis of internet gaming disorder requires a persistent, recurrent gaming habit that leads to significant distress or impairment.
Several symptoms associated with substance use disorders occur with internet gaming disorder, according to Weigle.
Individuals with internet gaming disorder exhibit structural and functional changes in the brain similar to those with substance use and gambling disorders.
Research indicated male sex, impulsivity, limited social skills and poor parental attachment as risk factors for internet gaming disorder.
Impairment can be significant and lead to new-onset depression, social anxiety and academic failure,
Currently, there is only preliminary evidence for the use of psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatments for internet gaming disorder.
“A substantial minority of youth suffer impairment from [internet gaming disorder], with significant implications for clinical practice,” Weigle wrote. “A wealth of research details characteristics of this disorder but remains largely unknown to most practitioners.” – by Amanda Oldt
Weigle PE. Internet gaming disorder: A virtual addiction. Presented at: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting; Oct. 23-28, 2017; Washington, D.C.
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