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Background and aims

Previous studies focused on examining the interrelationships between social networking site (SNS) addiction and Internet gaming disorder (IGD) in isolation. Moreover, little is known about the potential simultaneous differential effects of SNS addiction and IGD on psychological health. This study investigated the interplay between these two technological addictions and ascertained how they can uniquely and distinctively contribute to increasing psychiatric distress when accounting for potential effects stemming from sociodemographic and technology-related variables.

Methods

A sample of 509 adolescents (53.5% males) aged 10–18 years (mean = 13.02, SD = 1.64) were recruited.

Results

It was found that key demographic variables can play a distinct role in explaining SNS addiction and IGD. Furthermore, it was found that SNS addiction and IGD can augment the symptoms of each other, and simultaneously contribute to deterioration of overall psychological health in a similar fashion, further highlighting potentially common etiological and clinical course between these two phenomena. Finally, the detrimental effects of IGD on psychological health were found to be slightly more pronounced than those produced by SNS addiction, a finding that warrants additional scientific scrutiny.

Discussion and conclusion

The implications of these results are further discussed in light of the existing evidence and debates regarding the status of technological addictions as primary and secondary disorders.

Open access
Authors: Halley M. Pontes, Ivone M. Patrão and Mark D. Griffiths

Abstract

Background and aims

Research into Internet addiction (IA) has increased greatly over the last decade. Despite its various definitions and general lack of consensus regarding its conceptualisation amongst researchers, instruments for measuring this phenomenon have proliferated in a number of countries. There has been little research on IA in Portugal and this may be partly due to the absence of standardised measurement tools for assessing IA.

Methods

This study attempted to address this issue by adapting a Portuguese version of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) via a translation-back translation process and Confirmatory Factor Analysis in a sample of 593 Portuguese students that completed a Portuguese version of the IAT along with questions related to socio-demographic variables.

Results

The findings suggested that the IAT appears to be a valid and reliable instrument for measuring IA among Portuguese young adults as demonstrated by its satisfactory psychometric properties. However, the present findings also suggest the need to reword and update some of the IAT's items. Prevalence of IA found in the sample was 1.2% and is discussed alongside findings relating to socio-demographic correlates. Limitations and implications of the present study are also discussed.

Conclusions

The present study calls for a reflection of the IAT while also contributing to a better understanding of the basic aspects of IA in the Portuguese community since many health practitioners are starting to realise that Internet use may pose a risk for some individuals.

Restricted access

Background

The umbrella term “Internet addiction” has been criticized for its lack of specificity given the heterogeneity of potentially problematic behaviors that can be engaged in online as well as different underlying etiological mechanisms. This has led to the naming of specific online addictions, the most notable being Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD).

Methods

Using the contemporary literature concerning IGD and cognate topics, issues and concerns relating to the concept of IGD are examined.

Results

Internet addiction and IGD are not the same, and distinguishing between the two is conceptually meaningful. Similarly, the diagnosis of IGD as proposed in the appendix of the latest (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) remains vague regarding whether or not games need to be engaged in online, stating that IGD typically involves specific Internet games, but can also include offline games, adding to the lack of clarity. A number of authors have voiced concerns regarding the viability of including the word “Internet” in IGD, and instead proposed to use the term “video gaming disorder” or simply “gaming disorder,” suggesting addiction to video gaming can also occur offline.

Conclusion

The DSM-5 has caused more confusion than clarity regarding the disorder, reflected by researchers in the field contesting a supposedly reached consensus for IGD diagnosis.

Open access

Background and aims

The current DSM-5 diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) has led to a number of issues and concerns that we highlighted in our recent paper (Kuss, Griffiths, & Pontes, 2017). Experts in the field responded to our evaluation of these issues resulting in six commentaries.

Methods

In this paper, we offer responses to the six commentaries to move the scientific field forward. All of the responses to our original paper highlighted many conceptual, theoretical, and/or methodological problems with the proposed IGD diagnosis as outlined in the DSM-5. We outline some ways forward in overcoming issues and concerns in the gaming studies field.

Results

We argue that rather than stigmatizing gaming per se, the role of scientists and practitioners is to establish a clear-cut distinction between someone who may use games excessively but non-problematically and someone who is experiencing significant impairment in their daily lives as a consequence of their excessive gaming. This responsibility needs to be shared by popular media who are often quick to build a moral panic around gaming behaviors, often based on cherry-picking specific case studies and pieces of research which support their headlines.

Conclusion

Researchers, practitioners, gaming developers, and the media need to work together and collaboratively to build a realistic and comprehensive understanding of gaming as a normal, enjoyable, and often beneficial sociocultural practice, which for a small minority of excessive users may be associated with the experience of addiction-related symptoms that may require professional support.

Open access

Background and Aims

The issue of whether hypersexual behaviours exist among university students is controversial because many of these individuals engage in sexual exploration during their time at university. To date, little is known about the correlates of hypersexual behaviours among university students in the UK. Therefore, the aims of this exploratory study were two-fold. Firstly, to explore and establish the correlates of hypersexual behaviours, and secondly, to investigate whether hypersexuality among university students can be predicted by variables relating to negative mood states (i.e., emotional dysregulation, loneliness, shame, and life satisfaction) and consequences of hypersexual behaviour.

Methods

Survey data from 165 British university students was analysed using regression analyses.

Results

The full regression model significantly predicted hypersexual behaviours. However, only a small number of predictor variables (i.e., gender, consequences of hypersexual behaviours, life satisfaction and emotional dysregulation) accounted for the significant unique influence on hypersexual behaviours among the sample.

Conclusions

The study empirically supported the concept of hypersexual disorder. The implications of these findings are also discussed.

Open access

Problematic gaming exists and is an example of disordered gaming

Commentary on: Scholars’ open debate paper on the World Health Organization ICD-11 Gaming Disorder proposal (Aarseth et al.)

Authors: Mark D. Griffiths, Daria J. Kuss, Olatz Lopez-Fernandez and Halley M. Pontes

Background

The recent paper by Aarseth et al. (2016) questioned whether problematic gaming should be considered a new disorder particularly because “Gaming Disorder” (GD) has been identified as a disorder to be included in the next (11th) revision of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

Methods

This study uses contemporary literature to argue why GD should be included in the ICD-11.

Results

Aarseth and colleagues acknowledge that there is much literature (including papers by some of the authors themselves) that some individuals experience serious problems with video gaming. How can such an activity be seriously problematic yet not disordered? Similar to other addictions, gaming addiction is relatively rare and is in essence a syndrome (i.e., a condition or disorder characterized by a set of associated symptoms that tend to occur under specific circumstances). Consequently, not everyone will exhibit exactly the same set of symptoms and consequences, and this partly explains why those working in the problematic gaming field often disagree on symptomatology.

Conclusions

Research into gaming is not about pathologizing healthy entertainment, but about pathologizing excessive and problematic behaviors that cause significant psychological distress and impairment in an individual’s life. These are two related, but (ultimately) very distinct phenomena. While being aware that gaming is a pastime activity which is enjoyed non-problematically by many millions of individuals worldwide, it is concluded that problematic gaming exists and that it is an example of disordered gaming.

Open access

Background and aims

Since the inclusion of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) in the latest (fifth) edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a tentative disorder, a few psychometric screening instruments have been developed to assess IGD, including the 9-item Internet Gaming Disorder Scale – Short-Form (IGDS9-SF) – a short, valid, and reliable instrument.

Methods

Due to the lack of research on IGD in Slovenia, this study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the IGDS9-SF in addition to investigating the prevalence rates of IGD in a nationally representative sample of eighth graders from Slovenia (N = 1,071).

Results

The IGDS9-SF underwent rigorous psychometric scrutiny in terms of validity and reliability. Construct validation was investigated with confirmatory factor analysis to examine the factorial structure of the IGDS9-SF and a unidimensional structure appeared to fit the data well. Concurrent and criterion validation were also investigated by examining the association between IGD and relevant psychosocial and game-related measures, which warranted these forms of validity. In terms of reliability, the Slovenian version IGDS9-SF obtained excellent results regarding its internal consistency at different levels, and the test appears to be a valid and reliable instrument to assess IGD among Slovenian youth. Finally, the prevalence rates of IGD were found to be around 2.5% in the whole sample and 3.1% among gamers.

Discussion and conclusion

Taken together, these results illustrate the suitability of the IGDS9-SF and warrants further research on IGD in Slovenia.

Open access
Authors: Chung-Ying Lin, Maryam Ganji, Halley M. Pontes, Vida Imani, Anders Broström, Mark D. Griffiths and Amir H. Pakpour

Background and aims

Given the growing epidemiological research interest concerning Internet addiction, brief instruments with a robust theoretical basis are warranted. The Internet Disorder Scale (IDS-15) is one such instrument that can be used to quickly assess the Internet addiction in an individual. However, only two language versions of the IDS-15 have been developed. This study translated the IDS-15 into Persian and examined its psychometric properties using comprehensive psychometric testing.

Methods

After ensuring the linguistic validity of the Persian IDS-15, 1,272 adolescents (mean age = 15.53 years; 728 males) completed the IDS-15, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), Internet Gaming Disorder Scale – Short Form (IGDS9-SF), and the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS). Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), Rasch models, regression analysis, and latent profile analysis (LPA) were carried out to test the psychometric properties of the Persian IDS-15.

Results

Both CFA and Rasch supported the construct validity of the Persian IDS-15. Multigroup analysis in CFA and differential item functioning in Rasch indicated that male and female adolescents interpreted the IDS-15 items similarly. Regression analysis showed that the IDS-15 correlated with IGDS9-SF and BSMAS (ΔR 2 = .12 and .36, respectively) is stronger than the DASS (ΔR 2 = .03–.05). LPA based on IDS-15 suggests three subgroups for the sample. Significant differences in depression, anxiety, IGDS9-SF, and BSMAS were found among the three LPA subgroups.

Conclusion

The Persian IDS-15 has robust psychometric properties as evidenced by both classical test theory and Rasch analysis.

Open access
Authors: Olatz Lopez-Fernandez, Daria J. Kuss, Lucia Romo, Yannick Morvan, Laurence Kern, Pierluigi Graziani, Amélie Rousseau, Hans-Jürgen Rumpf, Anja Bischof, Ann-Kathrin Gässler, Adriano Schimmenti, Alessia Passanisi, Niko Männikkö, Maria Kääriänen, Zsolt Demetrovics, Orsolya Király, Mariano Chóliz, Juan José Zacarés, Emilia Serra, Mark D. Griffiths, Halley M. Pontes, Bernadeta Lelonek-Kuleta, Joanna Chwaszcz, Daniele Zullino, Lucien Rochat, Sophia Achab and Joël Billieux

Background and aims

Despite many positive benefits, mobile phone use can be associated with harmful and detrimental behaviors. The aim of this study was twofold: to examine (a) cross-cultural patterns of perceived dependence on mobile phones in ten European countries, first, grouped in four different regions (North: Finland and UK; South: Spain and Italy; East: Hungary and Poland; West: France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland), and second by country, and (b) how socio-demographics, geographic differences, mobile phone usage patterns, and associated activities predicted this perceived dependence.

Methods

A sample of 2,775 young adults (aged 18–29 years) were recruited in different European Universities who participated in an online survey. Measures included socio-demographic variables, patterns of mobile phone use, and the dependence subscale of a short version of the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPUQ; Billieux, Van der Linden, & Rochat, 2008).

Results

The young adults from the Northern and Southern regions reported the heaviest use of mobile phones, whereas perceived dependence was less prevalent in the Eastern region. However, the proportion of highly dependent mobile phone users was more elevated in Belgium, UK, and France. Regression analysis identified several risk factors for increased scores on the PMPUQ dependence subscale, namely using mobile phones daily, being female, engaging in social networking, playing video games, shopping and viewing TV shows through the Internet, chatting and messaging, and using mobile phones for downloading-related activities.

Discussion and conclusions

Self-reported dependence on mobile phone use is influenced by frequency and specific application usage.

Open access
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