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Background

Internet gaming disorder (IGD) was introduced in the DSM-5 as a way of identifying and diagnosing problematic video game play. However, the use of the diagnosis is constrained, as it shares criteria with other addictive orders (e.g., pathological gambling).

Aims

Further work is required to better understand IGD. One potential avenue of investigation is IGD’s relationship to the primary reinforcing behavioral functions. This study explores the relationship between duration of video game play and the reinforcing behavioral functions that may motivate or maintain video gaming.

Methods

A total of 499 video game players began the online survey, with complete data from 453 participants (85% white and 28% female), were analyzed. Individuals were placed into five groups based on self-reported hours of video gaming per week, and completed the Video Game Functional Assessment – Revised (VGFA-R).

Results

The results demonstrated the escape and social attention function were significant in predicting duration of video game play, whereas sensory and tangible were not significant.

Conclusion

Future implications of the VGFA-R and behaviorally based research are discussed.

Open access