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      How can we conceptualize behavioral addiction without pathologizing common behaviors?

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          Abstract

          Following the recent changes to the diagnostic category for addictive disorders in DSM-5, it is urgent to clarify what constitutes behavioral addiction to have a clear direction for future research and classification. However, in the years following the release of DSM-5, an expanding body of research has increasingly classified engagement in a wide range of common behaviors and leisure activities as possible behavioral addiction. If this expansion does not end, both the relevance and the credibility of the field of addictive disorders might be questioned, which may prompt a dismissive appraisal of the new DSM-5 sub-category for behavioral addiction. We propose an operational definition of behavioral addiction together with a number of exclusion criteria, to avoid pathologizing common behaviors and provide a common ground for further research. The definition and its exclusion criteria are clarified and justified by illustrating how these address a number of theoretical and methodological shortcomings that result from existing conceptualizations. We invite other researchers to extend our definition under an Open Science Foundation framework.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          9304118
          2264
          Addiction
          Addiction
          Addiction (Abingdon, England)
          0965-2140
          1360-0443
          18 March 2017
          15 February 2017
          October 2017
          01 October 2018
          : 112
          : 10
          : 1709-1715
          Affiliations
          [a ]Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
          [b ]Department of Psychology, Harvard University, USA
          [c ]Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Kore University of Enna, Italy
          [d ]Department of Communication Sciences, imec-MICT-Ghent University, Belgium
          [e ]Laboratory for Experimental Psychopathology, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
          [f ]Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA
          [g ]Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, Stockholm University, Sweden
          [h ]Gambling Treatment Clinic and Research, School of Psychology, University of Sydney
          [i ]Geneva University Hospital, University of Geneva, Switzerland
          [j ]Institute for Health and Behavior. Integrative Research Unit on Social and Individual Development (INSIDE), University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
          [k ]Internet and gambling disorders Clinic, Department of Adult Psychiatry, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Belgium
          Author notes
          [* ]Corresponding authors: Daniel Kardefelt-Winther, PhD, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Tomtebodavägen 18A, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden., Phone: +44 79 46567850, Daniel.kardefelt.winther@ 123456ki.se . Joël Billieux, PhD, Research Unit INSIDE, University of Luxembourg, Maison des Sciences Humaines, 11, Porte des Sciences – L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, T.: ++352 46 66 44 9000,: Joel.Billieux@ 123456uni.lu
          Article
          PMC5557689 PMC5557689 5557689 nihpa845729
          10.1111/add.13763
          5557689
          28198052
          b008d37a-0b28-4933-9e18-9d7e5f95a242
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