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      Commentary on: Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research

      1 , *

      Journal of Behavioral Addictions

      Akadémiai Kiadó

      behavioral addictions, mental health, DSM-5, excessive behaviors

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          Abstract

          This commentary supports the argument that there is an increasing tendency to subsume a range of excessive daily behaviors under the rubric of non-substance related behavioral addictions. The concept of behavioral addictions gained momentum in the 1990s with the recent reclassification of pathological gambling as a non-substance behavioral addiction in DSM-5 accelerating this process. The propensity to label a host of normal behaviors carried out to excess as pathological based simply on phenomenological similarities to addictive disorders will ultimately undermine the credibility of behavioral addiction as a valid construct. From a scientific perspective, anecdotal observation followed by the subsequent modification of the wording of existing substance dependence diagnostic criteria, and then searching for biopsychosocial correlates to justify classifying an excessive behavior resulting in harm as an addiction falls far short of accepted taxonomic standards. The differentiation of normal from non-substance addictive behaviors ought to be grounded in sound conceptual, theoretical and empirical methodologies. There are other more parsimonious explanations accounting for such behaviors. Consideration needs to be given to excluding the possibility that excessive behaviors are due to situational environmental/social factors, or symptomatic of an existing affective disorder such as depression or personality traits characteristic of cluster B personalities (namely, impulsivity) rather than the advocating for the establishment of new disorders.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Psychological predictors of problem mobile phone use.

          Mobile phone use is banned or illegal under certain circumstances and in some jurisdictions. Nevertheless, some people still use their mobile phones despite recognized safety concerns, legislation, and informal bans. Drawing potential predictors from the addiction literature, this study sought to predict usage and, specifically, problematic mobile phone use from extraversion, self-esteem, neuroticism, gender, and age. To measure problem use, the Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale was devised and validated as a reliable self-report instrument, against the Addiction Potential Scale and overall mobile phone usage levels. Problem use was a function of age, extraversion, and low self-esteem, but not neuroticism. As extraverts are more likely to take risks, and young drivers feature prominently in automobile accidents, this study supports community concerns about mobile phone use, and identifies groups that should be targeted in any intervention campaigns.
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            Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research

            Background Behavioral addiction research has been particularly flourishing over the last two decades. However, recent publications have suggested that nearly all daily life activities might lead to a genuine addiction. Methods and aim In this article, we discuss how the use of atheoretical and confirmatory research approaches may result in the identification of an unlimited list of “new” behavioral addictions. Results Both methodological and theoretical shortcomings of these studies were discussed. Conclusions We suggested that studies overpathologizing daily life activities are likely to prompt a dismissive appraisal of behavioral addiction research. Consequently, we proposed several roadmaps for future research in the field, centrally highlighting the need for longer tenable behavioral addiction research that shifts from a mere criteria-based approach toward an approach focusing on the psychological processes involved.
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              Can Disordered Mobile Phone Use Be Considered a Behavioral Addiction? An Update on Current Evidence and a Comprehensive Model for Future Research

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                September 2015
                29 September 2015
                : 4
                : 3
                : 142-144
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Psychology, The University of Sydney , Sydney, Australia
                Author notes
                * Corresponding address: Alexander Blaszczynski, PhD, MAPSs; School of Psychology (A19), The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; Phone: +61 2 9351 7310; E-mail: alex. blaszczynski@ 123456sydney.edu.au
                Article
                10.1556/2006.4.2015.016
                4627672
                26551901
                © 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.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 23, Pages: 3
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                Funding
                No financial support was received for this commentary.
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