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Abstract

Background and aims

Exercise may become physically and psychologically maladaptive if taken to extremes. One example is the dependence reported by some individuals who engage in weight training. The current study explored potential psychological, motivational, emotional and behavioural concomitants of bodybuilding dependence, with a particular focus on motives for weight training. Using a path analysis paradigm, putative causal models sought to explain associations among key study variables.

Methods

A convenience sample of 101 men aged between 18 and 67 years was assembled from gymnasia in Adelaide, South Australia. Active weight trainers voluntarily completed a questionnaire that included measures of bodybuilding dependence (social dependency, training dependency, and mastery), anger, hostility and aggression, stress and motivations for weight training.

Results

Three motives for weight training were identified: mood control, physique anxiety and personal challenge. Of these, personal challenge and mood control were the most directly salient to dependence. Social dependency was particularly relevant to personal challenge, whereas training dependency was associated with both personal challenge and mood control. Mastery demonstrated a direct link with physique anxiety, thus reflecting a unique component of exercise dependence.

Conclusions

While it was not possible to determine causality with the available data, the joint roles of variables that influence, or are influenced by, bodybuilding dependence are identified. Results highlight unique motivations for bodybuilding and suggest that dependence could be a result of, and way of coping with, stress manifesting as aggression. A potential framework for future research is provided through the demonstration of plausible causal linkages among these variables.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Erin M. Altenburger BA, Esther S. Tung, and Nancy J. Keuthen

Abstract

Background and aims

Trichotillomania (TTM) often first presents in adolescence, a developmental period marked by vulnerability in body image. To date, no one has studied the relationship between this disorder and body esteem.

Methods

49 adolescents with DSM-IV TTM or chronic hair pulling (HP) and 23 control adolescents were administered diagnostic assessments and self-report measures of hair pulling and body esteem.

Results

HP youth vs. controls reported lower levels of body esteem on all Body-Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults (BESAA) subscales (appearance, attribution and weight satisfaction). HP contributed to lowered body esteem, independent of comorbid anxiety or depression. As expected, HP youth with vs. without comorbid anxiety or depression reported lowered levels of body esteem. Further, greater HP severity and distress were significantly associated with lower levels of body esteem. HP severity alone but not distress/impairment predicted lower levels of body esteem, independent of comorbid anxiety and depression.

Conclusions

Both hair pulling and comorbid anxiety and depression can independently impact body esteem in adolescent hair pullers.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Likening mobile phone use dependency to the classification of excessive behaviors may be necessarily equivalent in seriousness to previously established addictions such as problematic computing or excessive gambling. The aim of the study explores into the behavior of excessive use of mobile phones as a pathological behavior.

Methods

Two studies investigated criteria for problematic mobile phone usage by examining student (Study 1, N = 301) and nonstudent (Study 2, N = 362) responses to a set of adapted mobile phone addiction inventories. Study 1 investigated cell phone addiction inventories as constructs designed to measure problematic cell phone use. Additionally, Study 2 sought to predict age, depression, extraversion, emotional stability, impulse control, and self-esteem as independent variables that augment respondents' perceptions of problematic use.

Results

The results from Study 1 and Study 2 indicate that 10 to 25% of the participants tested exhibited problematic cell phone usage. Additionally, age, depression, extraversion, and low impulse control are the most suitable predictors for problematic use.

Conclusions

The results of the two studies indicate that problematic mobile phone use does occur and ought to be taken seriously by the psychological community. Presently, there is limited data providing conclusive evidence for a comprehensible categorization of cell phone addiction, as well as a unified explanatory model specific to problematic mobile phone use. Studies such as this one may contribute substantial findings, adding scientific significance, and offering a valuable submission for the ongoing progress of creating intervention frameworks relative to “virtual addictions”.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Michael W. Firmin, Alisha D. Lee, Ruth L. Firmin, Lauren McCotter Deakin, and Hannah J. Holmes

Abstract

Background and aims

The aim of the present study was to provide a phenomenological perspective of individuals who actively engage in street-level prostitution and identified a lifestyle addiction associated with their activities.

Methods

We interviewed 25 women who were incarcerated in American county jails (at the time of interviews) for prostitution crimes. The transcripts were analyzed for themes that represented the shared consensus of the research participants.

Results

Four negative psychological dynamics related to prostitution. First, participants described accounts of physical and emotional violence which they experienced at the hand of clients and others involved in the lifestyle. Second, interviewees explained an extreme dislike for their actions relating to and involving prostitution. These individuals did not describe themselves as being sexually addicted; sex was means to a desired end. Third, participants described how prostitution's lifestyle had evolved into something which they conceptualized as an addiction. As such, they did not describe themselves as feeling addicted to sex acts — but to lifestyle elements that accompanied prostitution behaviors. Finally, participants believed that freedom from prostitution's lifestyle would require social service assistance in order to overcome their lifestyle addiction.

Conclusions

The results show that, although the prostitutes repeatedly and consistently used the term “addiction” when describing their lifestyles, they did not meet the DSM-IV-TR criteria for addiction. Rather, they shared many of the same psychological constructs as do addicts (e.g., feeling trapped, desiring escape, needing help to change), but they did not meet medical criteria for addictive dependence (e.g., tolerance or withdrawal).

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Smartphones allow users to access social networking sites (SNSs) whenever and wherever they want. Such easy availability and accessibility may increase their vulnerability to addiction. Based on the social cognitive theory (SCT), we examined the impacts of outcome expectancies, self-efficacy, and impulsivity on young Chinese smartphone users’ addictive tendencies toward SNSs.

Methods

Two hundred seventy-seven Macau young smartphone users (116 males and 161 females; mean age = 26.62) filled out an online Chinese questionnaire concerning their usage of social networking sites via smartphones, addiction tendencies toward SNSs, impulsivity trait, outcome expectancies toward the use, and Internet self-efficacy.

Results

The findings revealed that those who spent more time on SNSs also reported higher addictive tendencies. Addictive tendencies were positively correlated with both outcome expectancies and impulsivity, but negatively associated with Internet self-efficacy. These three psychological variables explained 23% of the variance in addictive tendencies.

Conclusions

The findings of this study suggest that, compared to demographics, psychological factors provide a better account for addictive tendencies towards SNSs among Chinese smartphone users in Macau. The three psychological risk factors were low Internet self-efficacy, favorable outcome expectancies, and high impulsivity trait. Educational campaigns with screening procedures for high-risk groups are recommended for effective prevention and treatment.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

A considerable body of literature has emerged over the past two decades assessing the relationship between problematic or addictive use of the Internet and various indices of psychological well-being. Conversely, comparatively little research has assessed the relationship between problematic or addictive use of the Internet and one's physical health.

Method

The current study assesses this relationship using a sample of college students (N = 133) who responded online to two questionnaires: the Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ; Demetrovics, Szeredi&Rózsa, 2008) and the SF-36v2 Health Survey (Ware et al., 2008).

Results

The findings indicate that problematic Internet use is associated with poorer physical health. These results are consistent with other data that assessed the relationship between these two variables. Furthermore, this relationship supersedes the influence of the number of hours spent online per day.

Conclusions

The findings are discussed in terms of the limitations of the study design and conclusions that can be drawn from this preliminary empirical effort.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

The relationship between college student gambling, parenting styles, and family environments is a neglected area of gambling research. Do parenting styles indirectly influence problem gambling behaviors via family environments? Do poor family environments, characterized by high levels of conflict and low levels of cohesion, increase the likelihood of problem gambling among youth? This study explored the interrelationships among college students' current gambling behaviors and a) having an emotionally close and supportive family environment, b) having nagging and critical parents, c) having an authoritative mother, and d) frequency of alcohol consumption.

Methods and results

Survey data were collected from 450 undergraduate students enrolled in introductory psychology classes at two state universities in a southern state. Feeling that one has nagging and critical parents was associated with gambling in more venues, while the opposite was true for having emotionally close and supportive families. However, perceptions of having authoritative mothers were not related to gambling. The results also showed that more frequent alcohol consumption was associated with higher odds of gambling in casinos, playing cards for money, betting on sports, gambling on the Internet, higher gambling losses, and a larger number of gambling venues.

Conclusions

As with any exploratory research, there are several unique lines of inquiry that can, and should, follow from these findings, including more research on how college students' attitudes toward gambling activities may have begun prior to college and been influenced by their feelings about their homes and parents.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

The purpose of this study was to verify the factorial structure, internal validity, reliability, and criterion validity of the 21-item Exercise Dependence Scale-Revised (EDS-R) in an Italian sample.

Methods

Italian voluntary (N = 519) users of gyms who had a history of regular exercise for over a year completed the EDS-R and measures of exercise frequency.

Results and conclusions

Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated a good fit to the hypothesized 7-factor model, and adequate internal consistency for the scale was evidenced. Criterion validity was evidenced by significant correlations among all the subscale of the EDS and exercise frequency. Finally, individuals at risk for exercise dependence reported more exercise behavior compared to the nondependent-symptomatic and nondependent-asymptomatic groups. These results suggest that the seven subscales of the Italian version of the EDS are measuring the construct of exercise dependence as defined by the DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence and also confirm previous research using the EDS-R in other languages. More research is needed to examine the psychometric properties of the EDS-R in diverse populations with various research designs.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Rune A. Mentzoni, Jon Christian Laberg, Geir Scott Brunborg, Helge Molde, and Ståle Pallesen

Abstract

Background and aims

Electronic gaming machines (EGM) may be a particularly addictive form of gambling, and gambling speed is believed to contribute to the addictive potential of such machines. The aim of the current study was to generate more knowledge concerning speed as a structural characteristic in gambling, by comparing the effects of three different bet-to-outcome intervals (BOI) on gamblers bet-sizes, game evaluations and illusion of control during gambling on a computer simulated slot machine. Furthermore, we investigated whether problem gambling moderates effects of BOI on gambling behavior and cognitions.

Methods

62 participants played a computerized slot machine with either fast (400 ms), medium (1700 ms) or slow (3000 ms) BOI. SOGS-R was used to measure pre-existing gambling problems. Mean bet size, game evaluations and illusion of control comprised the dependent variables.

Results

Gambling speed had no overall effect on either mean bet size, game evaluations or illusion of control, but in the 400 ms condition, at-risk gamblers (SOGS-R score > 0) employed higher bet sizes compared to no-risk (SOGS-R score = 0) gamblers.

Conclusions

The findings corroborate and elaborate on previous studies and indicate that restrictions on gambling speed may serve as a harm reducing effort for at-risk gamblers.

Open access

Abstract

Background: The initial treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has generally been limited to serotonergic agents, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or a combination of the two. These findings were supported by the POTS study for OCD in children and adolescents. However, treatment with serotonergic agents or CBT can take several weeks before benefit is seen; severe cases of OCD may require more immediate treatment. Case report: The authors present a case of severe OCD in an adolescent that required immediate treatment due to her critical medical condition. The patient's symptoms included not eating or taking medications or fluids by mouth due to fears of contamination. A medical hospitalization was previously required due to dehydration. As treatment with an SSRI would not have quick enough onset and the patient was initially resistant to participating in CBT, the patient was psychiatrically hospitalized and first started on liquid risperidone. After several doses of risperidone, the patient was able to participate in CBT and start sertraline. Discussion: The authors discuss the differential diagnosis of such a patient, including the continuum of OCD symptoms and psychotic symptoms. The authors discuss the different treatment options, including the utilization of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. The authors discuss the potential risks and benefits of using atypical antipsychotics in lieu of benzodiazepines for the initial treatment of severe adolescent OCD. The authors also discuss other current treatment recommendations and rationale for the treatment that was pursued. Conclusions: This patient received benefit of her symptoms relatively quickly with psychiatric hospitalization and an atypical antipsychotic. The diagnosis of a psychotic disorder should be considered. These treatment options must be weighed against the risks of atypical antipsychotics, including extrapyramidal symptoms, weight gain, and metabolic syndrome; benzodiazepines also have their risks and benefits. Additionally, the cost of time and finances of inpatient hospitalization must be considered. More research is needed regarding the short- and long-term efficacy and safety of antipsychotics in the treatment of OCD in the child and adolescent population.

Open access