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      Ten myths (or facts?) about workaholism: An appetitive motivation framework : Commentary on: Ten myths about work addiction (Griffiths et al., 2018)

      , 1 , *

      Journal of Behavioral Addictions

      Akadémiai Kiadó

      appetitive motivation, myths, work addiction

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          Abstract

          This commentary intends to provide constructive input into the “Ten myths about work addiction” by Griiffiths et al. (2018). I place the information into an appetitive motivation theoretical lens of addiction as well as outline the kernels of truth associated with each myth. Advancement of an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of addiction demands consideration that any number of appetitive-associated behaviors might become disrupted – including those at the workplace.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Prevalence of the addictions: a problem of the majority or the minority?

          An increasing number of research studies over the last three decades suggest that a wide range of substance and process addictions may serve similar functions. The current article considers 11 such potential addictions (tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, eating, gambling, Internet, love, sex, exercise, work, and shopping), their prevalence, and co-occurrence, based on a systematic review of the literature. Data from 83 studies (each study n = at least 500 subjects) were presented and supplemented with small-scale data. Depending on which assumptions are made, overall 12-month prevalence of an addiction among U.S. adults varies from 15% to 61%. The authors assert that it is most plausible that 47% of the U.S. adult population suffers from maladaptive signs of an addictive disorder over a 12-month period and that it may be useful to think of addictions as due to problems of lifestyle as well as to person-level factors.
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            Considering the Definition of Addiction

            The definition of addiction is explored. Elements of addiction derived from a literature search that uncovered 52 studies include: (a) engagement in the behavior to achieve appetitive effects, (b) preoccupation with the behavior, (c) temporary satiation, (d) loss of control, and (e) suffering negative consequences. Differences from compulsions are suggested. While there is some debate on what is intended by the elements of addictive behavior, we conclude that these five constituents provide a reasonable understanding of what is intended by the concept. Conceptual challenges for future research are mentioned.
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              Ten myths about work addiction

               Mark Griffiths,  Zsolt Demetrovics (corresponding) ,  Paweł Atroszko (2018)
              Research into work addiction has steadily grown over the past decade. However, the literature is far from unified and there has been much debate on many different issues. This paper comprises a narrative review and focuses on 10 myths about work addiction that have permeated the psychological literature and beyond. The 10 myths examined are (a) work addiction is a new behavioral addiction, (b) work addiction is similar to other behavioral addictions, (c) there are only psychosocial consequences of work addiction, (d) work addiction and workaholism are the same thing, (e) work addiction exclusively occurs as a consequence of individual personality factors, (f) work addiction only occurs in adulthood, (g) some types of work addiction are positive, (h) work addiction is a transient behavioral pattern related to situational factors, (i) work addiction is a function of the time spent engaging in work, and (j) work addiction is an example of overpathogizing everyday behavior and it will never be classed as a mental disorder in the DSM. Using the empirical literature to date, it is demonstrated that there is evidence to counter each of the 10 myths. It appears that the field is far from unified and that there are different theoretical constructs underpinning different strands of research.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                13 December 2018
                December 2018
                : 7
                : 4
                : 884-887
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ]Preventive Medicine, Psychology, and Social Work, Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding address: Prof. Steve Sussman, PhD, FAAHB, FAPA; Preventive Medicine, Psychology, and Social Work, Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California, Soto Street Building, Room 302, 2001 N. Soto Street, Los Angeles, CA 90032 3628, USA; Phone: +1 323 442 8220; Mobile phone: +1 626 376 0389; Fax: +1 323 442 8201; E-mail: ssussma@ 123456usc.edu
                Article
                10.1556/2006.7.2018.120
                6376364
                30541340
                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 8, Pages: 4
                Funding
                Funding sources: None.
                Categories
                COMMENTARY

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