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      Study Addiction – A New Area of Psychological Study: Conceptualization, Assessment, and Preliminary Empirical Findings


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          Recent research has suggested that for some individuals, educational studying may become compulsive and excessive and lead to ‘study addiction’. The present study conceptualized and assessed study addiction within the framework of workaholism, defining it as compulsive over-involvement in studying that interferes with functioning in other domains and that is detrimental for individuals and/or their environment.


          The Bergen Study Addiction Scale (BStAS) was tested – reflecting seven core addiction symptoms (salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, relapse, and problems) – related to studying. The scale was administered via a cross-sectional survey distributed to Norwegian ( n = 218) and Polish ( n = 993) students with additional questions concerning demographic variables, study-related variables, health, and personality.


          A one-factor solution had acceptable fit with the data in both samples and the scale demonstrated good reliability. Scores on BStAS converged with scores on learning engagement. Study addiction (BStAS) was significantly related to specific aspects of studying (longer learning time, lower academic performance), personality traits (higher neuroticism and conscientiousness, lower extroversion), and negative health-related factors (impaired general health, decreased quality of life and sleep quality, higher perceived stress).


          It is concluded that BStAS has good psychometric properties, making it a promising tool in the assessment of study addiction. Study addiction is related in predictable ways to personality and health variables, as predicted from contemporary workaholism theory and research.

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          Most cited references33

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          Addiction Is a Brain Disease, and It Matters

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            Workaholism: definition, measurement, and preliminary results.

            Questionnaires were developed to assess the concept of workaholism, defined in terms of high scores on measures of work involvement and driveness and low scores on a measure of enjoyment of work, and to contrast this profile with work enthusiasm, defined as high work involvement and enjoyment and low driveness. Additional scales were devised to test several predictions about the correlates of workaholism. A test battery including these scales was given in a mail survey to a national sample of male (n = 134) and female (n = 157) social workers with academic positions. The psychometric properties of the scales are described. Cluster analyses for each sex revealed groups who corresponded to the workaholic and work enthusiast profiles as well as several other profiles. As predicted, workaholics were higher than work enthusiasts (among other groups) on measures of perfectionism, nondelegation of responsibility, and job stress. They were also higher on a measure of health complaints. Investigations are being initiated to determine the association of workaholism and other score profiles with objectively diagnosed cardiac disorders and with measures of occupational performance.
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              Addiction is a brain disease, and it matters.

              Scientific advances over the past 20 years have shown that drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that results from the prolonged effects of drugs on the brain. As with many other brain diseases, addiction has embedded behavioral and social-context aspects that are important parts of the disorder itself. Therefore, the most effective treatment approaches will include biological, behavioral, and social-context components. Recognizing addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use can impact society's overall health and social policy strategies and help diminish the health and social costs associated with drug abuse and addiction.

                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó
                June 2015
                27 May 2015
                : 4
                : 2
                : 75-84
                [1 ]University of Gdańsk , Gdańsk, Poland
                [2 ]University of Bergen, Department of Psychosocial Science , Bergen, Norway
                [3 ]The Bergen Clinics Foundation , Bergen, Norway
                [4 ]Nottingham Trent University , Nottingham, UK
                Author notes
                * Corresponding author: Paweł Andrzej Atroszko; Institute of Psychology, University of Gdańsk, Bażyńskiego 4, 80-952 Gdańsk, Poland; Phone: +48 58 523 43 22; E-mail: p.atroszko@ 123456ug.edu.pl
                © 2015 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : 8 December 2014
                : 29 January 2015
                : 23 February 2015
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 6, References: 42, Pages: 10
                This research was partially funded by “Yggdrasil – young guest and doctoral researchers’ annual scholarships for investigation and learning” (219026/F11) from Research Council of Norway to Dr. Pallesen and Mr. Atroszko. On the basis of decision number DEC-2013/08/T/HS6/00403 the author (Paweł Andrzej Atroszko) received funds from National Science Centre Poland within doctoral scholarship for preparing PhD dissertation.
                Full-Length Report

                academic performance,learning engagement,assessment,scale,study addiction,workaholism


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