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# Theoretical conceptualisations of problematic exercise in psychometric assessment instruments: A systematic review

Authors: Álvaro Sicilia, Adrian Paterna, Manuel Alcaraz-Ibáñez, and Mark D. Griffiths

## Abstract

Background and aims: The aim of the present systematic review was to identify psychometric tools developed to assess problematic exercise in order to identify and compare their theoretical conceptualisations on which they are based. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in the electronic databases Web of Science, Scielo, PsychINFO, PsycTEST and SCOPUS from their inception to January 2020. Results: Seventeen assessment instruments met the eligibility criteria to be included in the present review. The instruments were classified according to their conceptualisation into five groups: (i) problematic exercise as an end of an exercise continuum, (ii) problematic exercise as a means of regulating body size and weight, (iii) problematic exercise as dependence, (iv) problematic exercise as a behavioural addiction and (v) no clear conceptualisation. Discussion: The results suggest that the conceptualisations of the assessment instruments have resulted in a strong dichotomy in relation to the primary or secondary character of the problematic exercise that might be limiting the capacity of the instruments to adequately capture the multidimensionality of this construct. Conclusions: Given the interest in understanding the complexity surrounding the problematic exercise, future research should develop more comprehensive definitions of this construct. This would allow a greater conceptual consensus to be reached that would allow progress to be made in the study of the problematic exercise.

Open access

# Five-year follow-up on a sample of gamblers: predictive factors of relapse

Authors: Marie Grall-Bronnec, Morgane Guillou-Landreat, Julie Caillon, Caroline Dubertret, Lucia Romo, Irène Codina, Isabelle Chereau-Boudet, Christophe Lancon, Marc Auriacombe, JEU-Group, Jean-Benoit Hardouin, and Gaëlle Challet-Bouju

## Abstract

### Background and Aims

Few studies have been conducted on the long-term evolution of gambling disorder (GD). The aim of this study was to identify factors that could predict GD relapse.

### Methods

Data were part of a dataset from a large 5-year cohort of gamblers who were assessed at inclusion and each year thereafter. Participants were recruited from an outpatient addiction treatment center, from various gambling places and through the press. For this specific study, inclusion criteria included (i) transitioning from GD to recovery at a follow-up time and (ii) undergoing at least one follow-up visit afterwards. Participants were evaluated using a structured clinical interview and self-report questionnaires assessing sociodemographic, gambling and clinical characteristics. “Relapse” was defined as the presence of GD (according to the DSM-5) at the N+1th visit following the absence of GD at the Nth visit. A Markov model-based approach was employed to examine predictive factors associated with relapse at a subsequent follow-up visit.

### Results

The sample consisted of 87 participants, aged 47.6 years (sd = 12.6), who were predominantly male (65%). Among the participants, 49 remained in recovery, whereas 38 relapsed. Participants who reported not having experienced at least one month of abstinence and those with a low level of self-directedness at the previous follow-up visit were more likely to relapse.

### Conclusions

Our findings suggest the existence of factors that are predictive of relapse in individuals with GD who had previously achieved recovery. These results can inspire the development of measures to promote long-term recovery.

Open access

# Corrigendum: The immortality key: The secret history of the religion with no name

Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Author: Jerry B. Brown
Open access

# The identification of Australian low-risk gambling limits: A comparison of gambling-related harm measures

Authors: Nicki A. Dowling, Christopher J. Greenwood, Stephanie S. Merkouris, George J. Youssef, Matthew Browne, Matthew Rockloff, and Paul Myers

## Abstract

### Background and aims

Problem gambling severity and gambling-related harm are closely coupled, but conceptually distinct, constructs. The primary aim was to compare low-risk gambling limits when gambling-related harm was defined using the negative consequence items of the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI-Harm) and the Short Gambling Harms Scale items (SGHS-Harm). A secondary aim was compare low-risk limits derived using a definition of harm in which at least two harms across different domains (e.g. financial and relationship) were endorsed with a definition of harm in which at least two harms from any domain were endorsed.

### Methods

Data were collected from dual-frame computer-assisted telephone interviews of 5,000 respondents in the fourth Social and Economic Impact Study (SEIS) of Gambling in Tasmania. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyse were conducted to identify low-risk gambling limits.

### Results

PGSI-Harm and SGHS-Harm definitions produced similar overall limits: 30–37 times per year; AUD$510–$544 per year; expenditure comprising no more than 10.2–10.3% of gross personal income; 400–454 minutes per year; and 2 types of gambling activities per year. Acceptable limits (AUC ≥0.70) were identified for horse/dog racing, keno, and sports/other betting using the PGSI definition; and electronic gaming machines, keno, and bingo using the SGHS definition. The requirement that gamblers endorse two or more harms across different domains had a relatively negligible effect.

### Discussion and conclusions

Although replications using alternative measures of harm are required, previous PGSI-based limits appear to be robust thresholds that have considerable potential utility in the prevention of gambling-related harm.

Open access

# Exploring the relationship between microdosing, personality and emotional insight: A prospective study

Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors: Hannah M. Dressler, Stephen J. Bright, and Vince Polito

## Abstract

### Backround and aims

Having entered the recent public and research zeitgeist, microdosing involves consuming sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic drugs, allegedly to enhance performance, creativity, and wellbeing. The results of research to date have been mixed. Whereas most studies have reported positive impacts of microdosing, some microdosers have also reported adverse effects. In addition, research to date has revealed inconsistent patterns of change in personality traits. This prospective study explored the relationship between microdosing, personality change, and emotional awareness.

### Methods

Measures of personality and alexithymia were collected at two time points. 76 microdosers participated at baseline. Invitations to a follow-up survey were sent out after 31 days, and 24 participants were retained.

### Results

Conscientiousness increased, while neuroticism decreased across these time points (n = 24). At baseline (N = 76), neuroticism was associated with alexithymia. In addition, neuroticism correlated negatively with duration of prior microdosing experience, and extraversion correlated positively with both duration of prior microdosing experience and lifetime number of microdoses.

### Conclusion

These results suggest that microdosing might have an impact on otherwise stable personality traits.

Open access

# Emotional regulation in eating disorders and gambling disorder: A transdiagnostic approach

Authors: Lucero Munguía, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Roser Granero, Isabel Baenas, Zaida Agüera, Isabel Sánchez, Ester Codina, Amparo del Pino-Gutiérrez, Giulia Testa, Janet Treasure, and Fernando Fernández-Aranda

## Abstract

### Background and aims

Difficulties in Emotion Regulation (ER) are related to the etiology and maintenance of several psychological disorders, including Eating Disorders (ED) and Gambling Disorder (GD). This study explored the existence of latent empirical groups between both disorders, based on ER difficulties and considering a set of indicators of personality traits, the severity of the disorder, and psychopathological distress.

### Methods

The sample included 1,288 female and male participants, diagnosed with ED (n = 906) and GD (n = 382). Two-step clustering was used for the empirical classification, while analysis of variance and chi-square tests were used for the comparison between the latent groups.

### Results

Three empirical groups were identified, from the most disturbed ER profile (Subgroup 1) to the most functional (Subgroup 3). The ER state showed a linear relationship with the severity of each disorder and the psychopathological state. Different personality traits were found to be related to the level of emotion dysregulation.

### Discussion and conclusion

In this study, three distinct empirical groups based on ER were identified across ED and GD, suggesting that ER is a transdiagnostic construct. These findings may lead to the development of common treatment strategies and more tailored approaches.

Open access

# The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name

Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Author: Jerry B. Brown
Open access

# Altered functional network activities for behavioral adjustments and Bayesian learning in young men with Internet gaming disorder

Authors: Shan-Shan Ma, Chiang-Shan R. Li, Sheng Zhang, Patrick D. Worhunsky, Nan Zhou, Jin-Tao Zhang, Lu Liu, Yuan-Wei Yao, and Xiao-Yi Fang

## Abstract

### Background and aims

Deficits in cognitive control represent a core feature of addiction. Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) offers an ideal model to study the mechanisms underlying cognitive control deficits in addiction, eliminating the confounding effects of substance use. Studies have reported behavioral and neural deficits in reactive control in IGD, but it remains unclear whether individuals with IGD are compromised in proactive control or behavioral adjustment by learning from the changing contexts.

### Methods

Here, fMRI data of 21 male young adults with IGD and 21 matched healthy controls (HC) were collected during a stop-signal task. We employed group independent component analysis to investigate group differences in temporally coherent, large-scale functional network activities during post-error slowing, the typical type of behavioral adjustments. We also employed a Bayesian belief model to quantify the trial-by-trial learning of the likelihood of stop signal – P(Stop) – a broader process underlying behavioral adjustment, and identified the alterations in functional network responses to P(Stop).

### Results

The results showed diminished engagement of the fronto-parietal network during post-error slowing, and weaker activity in the ventral attention and anterior default mode network in response to P(Stop) in IGD relative to HC.

### Discussion and conclusions

These results add to the literatures by suggesting deficits in updating and anticipating conflicts as well as in behavioral adjustment according to contextual information in individuals with IGD.

Open access

# Depression and anxiety symptoms associated with internet gaming disorder before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal study

Authors: Zhaojun Teng, Halley M. Pontes, Qian Nie, Mark D. Griffiths, and Cheng Guo

## Abstract

### Background

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has profoundly impacted aspects of human life globally. Playing videogames has been encouraged by several organizations to help individuals cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictive measures. This longitudinal study was the first to examine gaming in the context of the pandemic and its association with depressive and anxiety symptoms.

### Methods

The sample comprised 1,778 children and adolescents (50.7% male) who were part of the Project of School Mental Health in Southwest China. Data were collected at two-time intervals: before the COVID-19 pandemic (October to November 2019 – [T1]) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (April to May 2020 – [T2]). Data were collected on perceived COVID-19 impacts, videogame use, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD), and depressive and anxiety symptoms. Cross-lagged panel models were computed to examine longitudinal relationships.

### Results

The results indicated that both videogame use and IGD increased significantly for adolescents at T2. The cross-lagged panel model results suggested that depressive and anxiety symptoms at T1 positively predicted IGD and videogame use at T2 (especially for boys), but not inversely. Perceived COVID-19 impacts mediated the relationship between depressive and anxiety symptoms at T1 and IGD at T2.

### Conclusion

Children and adolescents both increased videogame use at T2, but only adolescents significantly increased IGD severity at T2. The findings supported the compensatory hypothesis, and are consistent with the Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution model as individual responses to COVID-19 may function as a mediator between personal predisposing variables and IGD.

Open access

# Gender-related differences in frontal-parietal modular segregation and altered effective connectivity in internet gaming disorder

Authors: Ningning Zeng, Min Wang, Hui Zheng, Jialin Zhang, Haohao Dong, Marc N. Potenza, and Guang-Heng Dong

## Abstract

### Background

Although previous studies have revealed gender-related differences in executive function in internet gaming disorder (IGD), neural mechanisms underlying these processes remain unclear, especially in terms of brain networks.

### Methods

Resting-state fMRI data were collected from 78 subjects with IGD (39 males, 20.8 ± 2.16 years old) and 72 with recreational game use (RGU) (39 males, 21.5 ± 2.56 years old). By utilizing graph theory, we calculated participation coefficients among brain network modules for all participants and analyzed the diagnostic-group-by-gender interactions. We further explored possible causal relationships between networks through spectral dynamic causal modeling (spDCM) to assess differences in between-network connections.

### Results

Compared to males with RGU, males with IGD demonstrated reduced modular segregation of the frontal-parietal network (FPN). Male IGD subjects also showed increased connections between the FPN and cingulo-opercular network (CON); however, these differences were not found in female subjects. Further spDCM analysis indicated that the causal influence from CON to FPN in male IGD subjects was enhanced relative to that of RGU males, while this influence was relatively reduced in females with IGD.

### Conclusions

These results suggest poor modular segmentation of the FPN and abnormal FPN/CON connections in males with IGD, suggesting a mechanism for male vulnerability to IGD. An increased “bottom-up” effect from the CON to FPN in male IGD subjects could reflect dysfunction between the brain networks. Different mechanisms may underlie in IGD, suggesting that different interventions may be optimal in males and females with IGD.

Open access