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      Internet gaming disorder: Inadequate diagnostic criteria wrapped in a constraining conceptual model : Commentary on: Chaos and confusion in DSM-5 diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder: Issues, concerns, and recommendations for clarity in the field (Kuss et al.)

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          Background and aims

          The paper “Chaos and confusion in DSM-5 diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder: Issues, concerns, and recommendations for clarity in the field” by Kuss, Griffiths, and Pontes (in press) critically examines the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Internet gaming disorder (IGD) and addresses the issue of whether IGD should be reconceptualized as gaming disorder, regardless of whether video games are played online or offline. This commentary provides additional critical perspectives on the concept of IGD.


          The focus of this commentary is on the addiction model on which the concept of IGD is based, the nature of the DSM-5 criteria for IGD, and the inclusion of withdrawal symptoms and tolerance as the diagnostic criteria for IGD.


          The addiction framework on which the DSM-5 concept of IGD is based is not without problems and represents only one of multiple theoretical approaches to problematic gaming. The polythetic, non-hierarchical DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for IGD make the concept of IGD unacceptably heterogeneous. There is no support for maintaining withdrawal symptoms and tolerance as the diagnostic criteria for IGD without their substantial revision.


          The addiction model of IGD is constraining and does not contribute to a better understanding of the various patterns of problematic gaming. The corresponding diagnostic criteria need a thorough overhaul, which should be based on a model of problematic gaming that can accommodate its disparate aspects.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Pathological video-game use among youth ages 8 to 18: a national study.

          Researchers have studied whether some youth are "addicted" to video games, but previous studies have been based on regional convenience samples. Using a national sample, this study gathered information about video-gaming habits and parental involvement in gaming, to determine the percentage of youth who meet clinical-style criteria for pathological gaming. A Harris poll surveyed a randomly selected sample of 1,178 American youth ages 8 to 18. About 8% of video-game players in this sample exhibited pathological patterns of play. Several indicators documented convergent and divergent validity of the results: Pathological gamers spent twice as much time playing as nonpathological gamers and received poorer grades in school; pathological gaming also showed comorbidity with attention problems. Pathological status significantly predicted poorer school performance even after controlling for sex, age, and weekly amount of video-game play. These results confirm that pathological gaming can be measured reliably, that the construct demonstrates validity, and that it is not simply isomorphic with a high amount of play.
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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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              Should addictive disorders include non-substance-related conditions?

               Marc Potenza (2006)
              In anticipation of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), to consider whether addictive disorders should include non-substance use disorders. The author reviewed data and provided perspective to explore whether disorders such as pathological gambling (PG) should be grouped together with substance dependence, given that they share many features. PG and substance dependence currently reside in the DSM, fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR) within separate categories, with PG classified as an impulse control disorder (ICD) and substance dependence as a substance use disorder (SUD). Arguments can be forwarded to support each categorization, as well as to justify their inclusion together as addictions. The current state of knowledge suggests that there exist substantial similarities between PG and SUDs. Further research is indicated prior to categorizing PG and other ICDs together with SUDs.

                Author and article information

                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                11 March 2017
                June 2017
                : 6
                : 2
                : 110-113
                [ 1 ]Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School – Nepean, University of Sydney , Penrith, NSW, Australia
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding address: Vladan Starcevic; Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School – Nepean, University of Sydney, PO Box 63, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia; Phone: +61 2 4734 2585; Fax: +61 2 4734 3343; E-mail: vladan.starcevic@
                © 2017 The Author(s)

                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, Equations: 0, References: 30, Pages: 4
                Funding sources: No financial support was received for this commentary.


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