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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Nerilee Hing
,
Alex M. T. Russell
,
Gabrielle M. Bryden
,
Philip Newall
,
Daniel L. King
,
Matthew Rockloff
,
Matthew Browne
, and
Nancy Greer

Abstract

Background and aims

Skin gambling uses in-game items (skins) acquired in video games, to gamble on esports, games of chance, other competitive events and privately with friends. This study examined characteristics of adolescent skin gamblers, their engagement in monetary gambling, and relationships between skin gambling and at risk/problem gambling.

Methods

Two samples of Australian adolescents aged 12–17 years were recruited to an online survey through advertisements (n = 843) and an online panel provider (n = 826).

Results

In both samples, past-month skin gamblers (n = 466 advertisements sample; n = 185 online panel sample) were more likely to have lower wellbeing, score as having an internet gaming disorder on the IGD, engage in more types of monetary gambling, and meet criteria for problem gambling on the DSM-IV-MR-J. Past-month skin gambling uniquely predicted problem gambling when controlling for past-month gambling on 11 monetary forms and the total number of monetary gambling forms.

Discussion and conclusions

Underage participation in skin gambling is a growing concern. The strong convergence between engagement in skin gambling and monetary gambling suggests common risk factors may increase the propensity of some adolescents to gamble on these multiple forms. Nonetheless, past-month skin gambling predicted problem gambling even when controlling for past-month monetary gambling, indicating its unique contribution to gambling problems and harm. While the study was based on non-probability samples, its results strengthen the case for regulatory reforms, age restrictions and public health education to prevent underage skin gambling and its potentially harmful consequences for children and young people.

Open access

“Diagnostic inflation” will not resolve taxonomical problems in the study of addictive online behaviours. •

Commentary on: How to overcome taxonomical problems in the study of Internet use disorders and what to do with “smartphone addiction”? (Montag et al., 2020)

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Vladan Starcevic
,
Daniel L. King
,
Paul H. Delfabbro
,
Adriano Schimmenti
,
Jesús Castro-Calvo
,
Alessandro Giardina
, and
Joël Billieux

Abstract

This article suggests that the type of Internet-enabled device should not be prioritised when conceptualizing diagnostic categories of addictive online behaviours. The diagnostic distinction between “predominantly mobile” and “predominantly non-mobile” forms of Internet use disorders (IUD) is not empirically based, may not be clinically useful and may lead to “diagnostic inflation.” Problems with the concepts of smartphone use disorder and IUD on which the proposed distinction is largely based call for their re-examination. Future proposals for the taxonomy of addictive behaviours may not need to be based on online/offline and mobile/non-mobile dichotomies.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Nerilee Hing
,
Matthew Rockloff
,
Alex M. T. Russell
,
Matthew Browne
,
Philip Newall
,
Nancy Greer
,
Daniel L. King
, and
Hannah Thorne

Abstract

Background and aims

Purchasing loot boxes in digital games is akin to gambling as it involves risking money for a chance-based reward of uncertain value. Research has linked buying loot boxes to problem gambling amongst adolescents, but has not examined co-occurring gambling participation. This study examined links between loot box purchasing and problem gambling amongst adolescents while controlling for monetary gambling participation.

Methods

Two survey samples of Australians aged 12–17 years were recruited through advertisements (n = 843) and online panels (n = 826). They included n = 421 and n = 128 adolescents, respectively, who met criteria for problem gambling.

Results

Past-month loot box purchasing was significantly related to gambling problems in bivariate analyses. When including age, gender and past-month monetary gambling, loot box purchases were still associated with at-risk and problem gambling in both samples. As expected, these other predictors attenuated the predictive value of recent loot box purchases in relation to gambling problems. The odds-ratios, nevertheless, were still in the predicted direction and remained significant. When controlling for monetary gambling, age and gender, recent loot box purchasing increased the odds of problem gambling 3.7 to 6.0 times, and at-risk gambling 2.8 to 4.3 times.

Discussion and conclusions

While causal relationships between loot box purchasing and problem gambling remain unclear, the results indicate that loot boxes disproportionately attract adolescents experiencing gambling problems, adding to the financial stress already caused by gambling. Consumer protection measures, youth and parental education, and age restrictions on loot box games are needed to protect young people.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Nerilee Hing
,
Alex M. T. Russell
,
Matthew Browne
,
Matthew Rockloff
,
Catherine Tulloch
,
Vijay Rawat
,
Nancy Greer
,
Nicki A. Dowling
,
Stephanie S. Merkouris
,
Daniel L. King
,
Matthew Stevens
,
Anne H. Salonen
,
Helen Breen
, and
Linda Woo

Abstract

Background and aims

Gambling-related harm to concerned significant others (CSOs) is an important public health issue since it reduces CSOs' health and wellbeing in numerous life domains. This study aimed to 1) estimate the first national prevalence of CSOs harmed by gambling in Australia; 2) identify the characteristics of CSOs most at risk of harm from another person's gambling; 3) compare the types and number of harms experienced by CSOs based on their relationship to the person who gambles; and 4) compare the number of harms experienced by CSOs by self-identified gender.

Methods

Based on a national CATI survey weighted to population norms, 11,560 respondents reported whether they had been personally and negatively affected by another person's gambling in the past 12 months; and if so, answered detailed questions about the harms experienced from the person's gambling who had harmed them the most.

Results

Past-year prevalence of gambling-related harm to adult Australian CSOs was (6.0%; 95% CI 5.6%–6.5%). CSOs most commonly reported emotional harms, followed by relationship, financial, health and vocational harms, respectively. Former partners reported the most harm, followed by current partners, other family members and non-family members, respectively. Female CSOs were more likely to report more harm and being harmed by a partner or other family member, and male CSOs from a non-family member.

Discussion and conclusions

The findings provide new insights into the wider societal burden of gambling and inform measures aimed at reducing harm to CSOs from gambling and supporting them to seek help.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Matthias Brand
,
Hans-Jürgen Rumpf
,
Zsolt Demetrovics
,
Astrid Müller
,
Rudolf Stark
,
Daniel L. King
,
Anna E. Goudriaan
,
Karl Mann
,
Patrick Trotzke
,
Naomi A. Fineberg
,
Samuel R. Chamberlain
,
Shane W. Kraus
,
Elisa Wegmann
,
JoËl Billieux
, and
Marc N. Potenza

Abstract

Background

Gambling and gaming disorders have been included as “disorders due to addictive behaviors” in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Other problematic behaviors may be considered as “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors (6C5Y).”

Methods

Narrative review, experts' opinions.

Results

We suggest the following meta-level criteria for considering potential addictive behaviors as fulfilling the category of “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors”:

1. Clinical relevance: Empirical evidence from multiple scientific studies demonstrates that the specific potential addictive behavior is clinically relevant and individuals experience negative consequences and functional impairments in daily life due to the problematic and potentially addictive behavior.

2. Theoretical embedding: Current theories and theoretical models belonging to the field of research on addictive behaviors describe and explain most appropriately the candidate phenomenon of a potential addictive behavior.

3. Empirical evidence: Data based on self-reports, clinical interviews, surveys, behavioral experiments, and, if available, biological investigations (neural, physiological, genetic) suggest that psychological (and neurobiological) mechanisms involved in other addictive behaviors are also valid for the candidate phenomenon. Varying degrees of support for problematic forms of pornography use, buying and shopping, and use of social networks are available. These conditions may fit the category of “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors”.

Conclusion

It is important not to over-pathologize everyday-life behavior while concurrently not trivializing conditions that are of clinical importance and that deserve public health considerations. The proposed meta-level-criteria may help guide both research efforts and clinical practice.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
John B. Saunders
,
Wei Hao
,
Jiang Long
,
Daniel L. King
,
Karl Mann
,
Mira Fauth-Bühler
,
Hans-Jürgen Rumpf
,
Henrietta Bowden-Jones
,
Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar
,
Thomas Chung
,
Elda Chan
,
Norharlina Bahar
,
Sophia Achab
,
Hae Kook Lee
,
Marc Potenza
,
Nancy Petry
,
Daniel Spritzer
,
Atul Ambekar
,
Jeffrey Derevensky
,
Mark D. Griffiths
,
Halley M. Pontes
,
Daria Kuss
,
Susumu Higuchi
,
Satoko Mihara
,
Sawitri Assangangkornchai
,
Manoj Sharma
,
Ahmad El Kashef
,
Patrick Ip
,
Michael Farrell
,
Emanuele Scafato
,
Natacha Carragher
, and
Vladimir Poznyak

Online gaming has greatly increased in popularity in recent years, and with this has come a multiplicity of problems due to excessive involvement in gaming. Gaming disorder, both online and offline, has been defined for the first time in the draft of 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). National surveys have shown prevalence rates of gaming disorder/addiction of 10%–15% among young people in several Asian countries and of 1%–10% in their counterparts in some Western countries. Several diseases related to excessive gaming are now recognized, and clinics are being established to respond to individual, family, and community concerns, but many cases remain hidden. Gaming disorder shares many features with addictions due to psychoactive substances and with gambling disorder, and functional neuroimaging shows that similar areas of the brain are activated. Governments and health agencies worldwide are seeking for the effects of online gaming to be addressed, and for preventive approaches to be developed. Central to this effort is a need to delineate the nature of the problem, which is the purpose of the definitions in the draft of ICD-11.

Open access

Including gaming disorder in the ICD-11: The need to do so from a clinical and public health perspective

Commentary on: A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution (van Rooij et al., 2018)

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Hans-Jürgen Rumpf
,
Sophia Achab
,
Joël Billieux
,
Henrietta Bowden-Jones
,
Natacha Carragher
,
Zsolt Demetrovics
,
Susumu Higuchi
,
Daniel L. King
,
Karl Mann
,
Marc Potenza
,
John B. Saunders
,
Max Abbott
,
Atul Ambekar
,
Osman Tolga Aricak
,
Sawitri Assanangkornchai
,
Norharlina Bahar
,
Guilherme Borges
,
Matthias Brand
,
Elda Mei-Lo Chan
,
Thomas Chung
,
Jeff Derevensky
,
Ahmad El Kashef
,
Michael Farrell
,
Naomi A. Fineberg
,
Claudia Gandin
,
Douglas A. Gentile
,
Mark D. Griffiths
,
Anna E. Goudriaan
,
Marie Grall-Bronnec
,
Wei Hao
,
David C. Hodgins
,
Patrick Ip
,
Orsolya Király
,
Hae Kook Lee
,
Daria Kuss
,
Jeroen S. Lemmens
,
Jiang Long
,
Olatz Lopez-Fernandez
,
Satoko Mihara
,
Nancy M. Petry
,
Halley M. Pontes
,
Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar
,
Florian Rehbein
,
Jürgen Rehm
,
Emanuele Scafato
,
Manoi Sharma
,
Daniel Spritzer
,
Dan J. Stein
,
Philip Tam
,
Aviv Weinstein
,
Hans-Ulrich Wittchen
,
Klaus Wölfling
,
Daniele Zullino
, and
Vladimir Poznyak

The proposed introduction of gaming disorder (GD) in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) has led to a lively debate over the past year. Besides the broad support for the decision in the academic press, a recent publication by van Rooij et al. (2018) repeated the criticism raised against the inclusion of GD in ICD-11 by Aarseth et al. (2017). We argue that this group of researchers fails to recognize the clinical and public health considerations, which support the WHO perspective. It is important to recognize a range of biases that may influence this debate; in particular, the gaming industry may wish to diminish its responsibility by claiming that GD is not a public health problem, a position which maybe supported by arguments from scholars based in media psychology, computer games research, communication science, and related disciplines. However, just as with any other disease or disorder in the ICD-11, the decision whether or not to include GD is based on clinical evidence and public health needs. Therefore, we reiterate our conclusion that including GD reflects the essence of the ICD and will facilitate treatment and prevention for those who need it.

Open access