Theories posit that the combination of external (e.g. cue exposure) and internal (e.g. attention biases) factors contributes to the development of game craving. Nevertheless, whether different components of attentional biases (namely, engagement bias and disengagement bias) play separate roles on game craving has not been fully elucidated. We aimed to examine the associations between two facets of attentional biases and game craving dynamics under a daily life setting.
Participants (110 regular internet game players) accomplished the modified attentional assessment task in the laboratory, after which they entered a 10-day ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to collect data on their momentary game craving and occurrence of game-related events at five different time points per day.
We found that occurrence of game-related events was significantly associated with increased game craving. Moreover, attentional disengagement bias, instead of engagement bias, bore on the occasional level variations of game craving as moderating variables. Specifically, attentional disengagement bias, not engagement bias, was associated with a greater increase in game craving immediately after encountering a game-related event; however, neither attentional engagement bias nor disengagement bias was associated with the craving maintenance after a relatively long period.
Discussion and conclusions
The present study highlights the specific attentional processes involved in game craving dynamics, which could be crucial for designing interventions for attentional bias modification (ABM) in Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) populations.
Internet use has become an important part of daily living. However, for a minority it may become problematic. Moreover, problematic use of the Internet/smartphone (PUIS) has been associated with low physical activity. The present study investigated the temporal associations between three types of PUIS (i.e., problematic smartphone use [PSPU], problematic social media use [PSMU] and problematic gaming [PG]) and physical activity among Taiwanese university students.
A six-month longitudinal survey study comprising three time points for assessments was conducted. From the original 974 participants, a total of 452 completed all three waves of an online survey comprising the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form (IPAQ-SF) assessing physical activity level, Smartphone Application-Based Addiction Scale (SABAS) assessing PSPU, Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS) assessing PSMU, and Internet Gaming Disorder Short Form (IGDS9-SF) assessing PG.
The linear mixed effects model found positive temporal associations of PSMU and PG with physical activity level (PSMU: B = 85.88, SE = 26.24; P = 0.001; PG: B = 36.81, SE = 15.17; P = 0.02). PSPU was not associated with physical activity level (B = 40.54, SE = 22.99; P = 0.08). Additionally, the prevalence rates were 44.4% for at-risk/PSPU, 24.6% for at-risk/PSMU, and 12.3% for at-risk/PG.
Discussion and Conclusions
PSMU and PG unexpectedly demonstrated correlations with higher physical activity level. The nature of these relationships warrants additional investigation into the underlying mechanisms in order to promote healthy lifestyles among university students.
Accumulating evidence suggests brain structural and functional alterations in Internet Use Disorder (IUD). However, conclusions are strongly limited due to the retrospective case-control design of the studies, small samples, and the focus on general rather than symptom-specific approaches.
We here employed a dimensional multi-methodical MRI-neuroimaging design in a final sample of n = 203 subjects to examine associations between levels of IUD and its symptom-dimensions (loss of control/time management, craving/social problems) with brain structure, resting state and task-based (pain empathy, affective go/no-go) brain function.
Although the present sample covered the entire range of IUD, including normal, problematic as well as pathological levels, general IUD symptom load was not associated with brain structural or functional alterations. However, the symptom-dimensions exhibited opposing associations with the intrinsic and structural organization of the brain, such that loss of control/time management exhibited negative associations with intrinsic striatal networks and hippocampal volume, while craving/social problems exhibited a positive association with intrinsic striatal networks and caudate volume.
Our findings provided the first evidence for IUD symptom-domain specific associations with progressive alterations in the intrinsic structural and functional organization of the brain, particularly of striatal systems involved in reward, habitual and cognitive control processes.
This study evaluated the consistency between the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Edition (ICD-11) for gaming disorder (ICD-11-GD) and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria for internet gaming disorder (DSM-5-IGD). Moreover, the functional impairment of participants and their insight of their GD were evaluated.
We recruited 60 participants with GD, 45 participants who engaged in hazardous gaming (HG), and 120 controls based on a diagnostic interview. Their operationalization of functional impairment and stage of change were evaluated by interviews and questionnaires, including the Brief Gaming Negative Consequence Scale (BGNCS).
We observed satisfactory consistency (kappa value = 0.80) with a diagnostic accuracy of 91.5% between the ICD-11-GD and DSM-5-IGD criteria. Furthermore, 16 participants with IGD in DSM-5 were determined to have HG based on the ICD-11 criteria. Participants of GD group experienced impaired functioning in their health (96.7%), career (73.3%), social life (61.6%), academic performance (36.7%), and job performance (35%). Moreover, a proportion of them were in the pre-contemplation (25.0%), contemplation (61.7%), preparation (10%), and action stages (3.3%).
There is a good consistency between ICD-11-GD and DSM-5-IGD criteria. The ICD-11 criteria have a high threshold for diagnosing GD. HG criteria could compensate for this high threshold and identify individuals with a gaming-related functional impairment who require help. Most of the participants with GD were in the early stage of change. Interventions to promote their insight are essential. The BGNCS can be used to examine the negative consequences of gaming and aid mental health professionals in assessing functional impairment.
Mental disorders with high levels of impulsivity such as bulimic spectrum eating disorders (BSED) and gambling disorder (GD) are associated with high risk of suicidal behavior. The aim of the present study was to identify the common and differential vulnerability factors behind suicide attempts in a sample of patients with BSED compared to patients with GD.
A total of 6,077 adults who sought treatment and met criteria either for BSED (n = 2,391) or GD (n = 3,686) were assessed at a specialized hospital unit. Personality traits, psychopathological symptomatology, lifetime history of suicide attempts and socio-demographic variables were evaluated.
The prevalence of suicide attempts was higher for BSED patients (26.2%) compared to GD patients (7.1%) being anorexia nervosa (Binge/Purge type) and bulimia nervosa the most affected subtypes. In the predictive model, the transdiagnostic vulnerability factors with the highest contribution to the risk of suicidal behavior both in BSED and GD were unemployment, early age of onset of the disorder, worse psychopathological state, and self-transcendence personality trait. However, specific risk factors for suicidal acts were identified in each disorder: longer duration of the disorder, lower education levels and reward dependence were exclusively associated with BSED while female gender, older age, and higher harm avoidance were associated with GD.
Patients with GD and BSED share certain vulnerability factors although certain factors are exclusive to each disorder.
Interventions need to pay special attention to both common and specific vulnerability factors to mitigate the risk of suicidal acts in these disorders.
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is highly prevalent in adolescents and is associated with various mental health problems. Repetitive NSSI (R-NSSI), as an extreme manifestation of NSSI, is a growing concern and has been proposed as a behavioral addiction. However, little is known about the potential addictive mechanisms of NSSI. This study aimed to examine the mediating effect of emotion dysregulation and the moderating effect of impulsivity using the Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution (I-PACE) model in adolescents who repeatedly engage in NSSI.
A total of 3,915 adolescents (mean age = 13.21 years, SD = 0.87, 57.6% male) were recruited from three middle schools. Relevant questionnaires were used to evaluate childhood maltreatment, emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, and NSSI. Mediation and moderated mediation analyses were conducted separately for adolescents with occasional NSSI (O–NSSI) and R-NSSI to assess the relationship between childhood maltreatment, emotion dysregulation, impulsivity, and NSSI frequency.
Our study found that childhood maltreatment was directly related to NSSI and indirectly related to NSSI through emotion dysregulation in both the R-NSSI and O–NSSI groups. Furthermore, impulsivity played a moderating role in the relationship between emotion dysregulation and NSSI in the R-NSSI group but not in the O–NSSI group.
Discussion and conclusions
The findings suggest that a high level of impulsivity and a high level of emotion dysregulation may be important risk addictive factors of NSSI through childhood maltreatment. Strengthening the emotion regulation skills and inhibitory control of adolescents with NSSI would be helpful to reduce their self-injury behaviors and maintain their mental health. This finding also supports the validity of the I-PACE model for evaluating R-NSSI.
A renaissance is underway as research studies are substantiating psychotherapeutic and physiological benefits of psychedelic medicines, along with advancements towards legalization, expansion of professional training programs and a renewed cultural recognition of the healing qualities of the medicines. Pending legislation, a cadre of trained psychotherapists are poised to apply their expertise for those who might benefit however, they are currently largely blocked from doing so. There are also ranks of competent psychedelically informed psychotherapists who might provide support to clients engaging with the medicines but are lacking guidelines to do so.
‘Psychedelic-Supportive Psychotherapy’ is a proposed model which might be immediately implemented by qualified practitioners for working with clients adjacent to but not during a medicine experience without compromising ethical or legal risk. This model aimed at psychotherapists who are increasingly challenged to help clients already engaging with or considering psychedelics, draws from the current field of knowledge to respond to a moral imperative for practitioners to act in the service of client's best interests and expand access for diverse communities. It balances psychedelic harm reduction perspectives with support for the emotional, psychological, and spiritual gains to be had when clients use psychedelics outside of therapy and can process the experience within their therapy. The model of psychedelic-supportive psychotherapy,’ is transtheoretical, its core premise being centrality of the therapeutic relationship as a change agent even as the therapist is not physically present in the client's medicine journey. Here a foundational structure is presented along with criteria, parameters, and recommendations for practitioners in its application.
The addiction model of compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) and problematic pornography use (PPU) predicts the presence of withdrawal symptoms and increased tolerance for sexual stimuli in the disorder phenotype. However, clear empirical evidence supporting this claim has largely been lacking.
In the preregistered, nationally representative survey (n = 1,541, 51.2% women, age: M = 42.99, SD = 14.38), we investigated the role of self-reported withdrawal symptoms and tolerance with respect to CSBD and PPU severity.
Both withdrawal and tolerance were significantly associated with the severities of CSBD (β = 0.34; P < 0.001 and β = 0.38; P < 0.001, respectively) and PPU (β = 0.24; P < 0.001 and β = 0.27; P < 0.001, respectively). Of the 21 withdrawal symptom types investigated, the most often reported symptoms were frequent sexual thoughts that were difficult to stop (for participants with CSBD: 65.2% and with PPU: 43.3%), increased overall arousal (37.9%; 29.2%), difficult to control level of sexual desire (57.6%; 31.0%), irritability (37.9%; 25.4%), frequent mood changes (33.3%; 22.6%), and sleep problems (36.4%; 24.5%).
Changes related to mood and general arousal noted in the current study were similar to the cluster of symptoms in a withdrawal syndrome proposed for gambling disorder and internet gaming disorder in DSM-5. The study provides preliminary evidence on an understudied topic, and present findings can have significant implications for understanding the etiology and classification of CSBD and PPU. Simultaneously, drawing conclusions about clinical importance, diagnostic utility and detailed characteristics of withdrawal symptoms and tolerance as a part of CSBD and PPU, as well as other behavioral addictions, requires further research efforts.
Given problematic Internet usage's (PIU) negative impact on individual health, this study evaluates how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) affect young adults' PIU and the possible underlying mechanism of the “feeling of loneliness” (FOL) trajectory.
Analyzing a retrospective cohort sample from the Taiwan Youth Project, 2,393 adolescents were interviewed from the average ages of 14–28. We constructed ACE in 2000 using six categories (e.g., abuse and low family socioeconomic status) and 5-item PIU in 2017 from Chen's Internet Addiction Scale. FOL trajectories measured eight times, at average ages 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 25, 28 years-old.
Overall, 12.65% of the participants did not have ACEs, and 12.78% exhibited PIU. FOL trajectory analyses yielded three groups: “constant low” (reference group: 53.25%); “moderate decline” (36.81%); and “increasing” (9.94%). Regression models showed a dose–response association between ACE and young adults' PIU (adjusted odds ratio = 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.02–1.23) and the two risky loneliness groups (moderate decline: relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.32–1.54; increasing: RRR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.37–1.71). Structural equation modeling further found that ACEs increase young adults' risk of being in the increasing group, and consequently, the risk of PIU.
Discussion and conclusions
We demonstrated that ACE may be associated with 1) adults' PIU, 2) FOL from adolescence to emerging adulthood, and 3) young adults' PIU through its association with FOL trajectories.