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Abstract

Aims

The paper outlines the advantages, disadvantages, and other implications of using the Internet to collect data from those people displaying sexually paraphilic behavior.

Method

Using empirical and clinical studies published in the paraphilia literature, the main issues concerning online paraphilic data collection are reviewed and discussed.

Results

The specific online data collection methods examined included the collection of paraphilic data via (i) online questionnaires, (ii) online forums, (iii) online interviews, and (iv) online participant observation.

Conclusions

It is concluded that there are many useful and practical advantages of using online research methodologies to examine sexually paraphilic behavior.

Open access

Disorders due to addictive behaviors: Further issues, debates, and controversies •

Commentary to the debate: “Behavioral addictions in the ICD-11”

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Author:
Mark D. Griffiths

Abstract

Two recent papers in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions by Brand et al. (2022), and Sassover and Weinstein (2022) both make interesting additions to the place of behavioral addictions in the more general addictive behaviors field. This commentary discusses some of the further nuances in the debates surrounding whether problematic engagement in social networking, pornography, and buying/shopping should be considered as possible ‘disorders due to addictive behaviors’ in the ICD-11. Particular emphasis in this commentary is placed on social network use disorder and its delineation. While there is growing evidence that addictions to sex, pornography, social network sites, exercise, work, and buying/shopping may be genuine disorders among a minority of individuals, none of these behaviors is likely to be included in formal psychiatric manuals in the near future until there is more high-quality data on all research fronts (e.g., epidemiological, neurobiological, psychological, and clinical).

Open access

Internet use disorders: What's new and what's not?

Commentary on: How to overcome taxonomical problems in the study of Internet use disorders and what to do with “smartphone addiction”? (Montag et al., 2019)

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Author:
Mark D. Griffiths

Abstract

This commentary critiques the recent paper by Montag et al. (2019) and (i) argues that there are a number of issues that are presented as contemporary but have been discussed in the internet addiction literature for over 20 years, (ii) argues that generalized internet use disorder (IUD)/smartphone use disorder (SmUD) and specific IUD/SmUD may mean different things to different scholars, (iii) suggests that online activities that involve content creation often utilize nonmobile devices, and (iv) suggests that there are some potentially problematic online behaviors that are not included as major activities in the proposed in Montag et al.‘s taxonomy of internet-related problematic behaviors.

Open access

Background

YouTube, the online video creation and sharing site, supports both video content viewing and content creation activities. For a minority of people, the time spent engaging with YouTube can be excessive and potentially problematic.

Method

This study analyzed the relationship between content viewing, content creation, and YouTube addiction in a survey of 410 Indian-student YouTube users. It also examined the influence of content, social, technology, and process gratifications on user inclination toward YouTube content viewing and content creation.

Results

The results demonstrated that content creation in YouTube had a closer relationship with YouTube addiction than content viewing. Furthermore, social gratification was found to have a significant influence on both types of YouTube activities, whereas technology gratification did not significantly influence them. Among all perceived gratifications, content gratification had the highest relationship coefficient value with YouTube content creation inclination. The model fit and variance extracted by the endogenous constructs were good, which further validated the results of the analysis.

Conclusion

The study facilitates new ways to explore user gratification in using YouTube and how the channel responds to it.

Open access

Background and aims

Research has shown that personality traits play an important role in problematic internet use (PIU). However, the relationship between dark personality traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, sadism, and spitefulness) and PIU has yet to be investigated. Consequently, the objectives of this study were to investigate the relationships of dark traits with specific online activities (i.e., social media, gaming, gambling, shopping, and sex) and PIU.

Methods

A total of 772 university students completed a self-report survey, including the Dark Triad Dirty Dozen Scale, Short Sadistic Impulse Scale, Spitefulness Scale, and an adapted version of the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale.

Results

Hierarchical regression analysis and a multiple mediation model indicated that being male was positively associated with higher online gaming, online sex, and online gambling, and negatively associated with social media and online shopping. Narcissism was related to higher social media use; Machiavellianism was related to higher online gaming, online sex, and online gambling; sadism was related to online sex; and spitefulness was associated with online sex, online gambling, and online shopping. Finally, Machiavellianism and spitefulness were directly and indirectly associated with PIU via online gambling, online gaming, and online shopping, and narcissism was indirectly associated with PIU through social media use.

Discussion

Findings of this preliminary study show that individuals high in dark personality traits may be more vulnerable in developing problematic online use and that further research is warranted to examine the associations of dark personality traits with specific types of problematic online activities.

Open access

Background

Compulsive Internet use (CIU) refers to those individuals who experience a loss of control regarding their online use. Although suffered by a minority, a much larger proportion of adults report to be experiencing early signs of CIU, which can become more problematic if sustained over time, especially when used as a coping mechanism for stress. Since compulsive behaviors are characterized by executing behaviors on “automatic pilot,” mindfulness techniques, which help individuals relate more consciously with their environment, could help develop a more adaptive relationship with technology. However, mindfulness interventions are often lengthy hence not ideal for busy individuals with early signs of CIU.

Aims

This study tested the effectiveness of a brief mindfulness intervention (10 min a day for 2 weeks) to reduce CIU and anxiety and depression symptoms, in relation to an equivalent length classic arousal descending technique (i.e., gradual-muscle-relaxation), and a wait-list control group.

Methods

A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was used with assessments at pre- and post-phases. Participants showing initial signs of CIU were allocated to a mindfulness-group (n = 343), gradual-relaxation (n = 301), or a wait-list control group (n = 350).

Results

The mindfulness and gradual-muscle-relaxation participants were equally effective in reducing anxiety and depression. The mindfulness intervention was more effective reducing CIU symptoms.

Discussion

Given the large sample sizes of this RCT, these results are promising, although follow-up studies are needed. Considering health hazards of the “always-on-culture” and the popularity of bite-sized learning, the effectiveness of easy-to fit-in daily life health practices is a positive development.

Open access

Abstract

Purpose

Despite increasing empirical research into workaholism, no single definition or conceptualisation has emerged, and current understandings of workaholism are arguably problematic. The primary purpose of this paper is to clarify some of these issues, by defining and contextualising over-engagement in work that leads to severe negative consequences (i.e., workaholism) as a genuine behavioural addiction.

Approach

By conceptualising work behaviours as manifestations of behavioural engagement and placing them on a continuum from withdrawal/under-engagement (e.g., persistent absenteeism) to over-engagement (e.g., work conflicting with all other activity), this paper argues that workaholism is an extreme negative aspect of behavioural engagement. It then examines the extent to which workaholism can be viewed as a genuine addiction by using criteria applied to other more traditional behavioural addictions (e.g., gambling addiction, exercise addiction), before briefly outlining an approach towards a more global understanding of workaholism.

Findings

The framework presented here helps to contextualise over-engagement to work as a genuine addiction. It presents more comprehensive understanding of workaholism that takes into account the individual factors of the employee, situational factors of the working environment, and structural factors of the work activity itself. It provides theoretically derived links between workaholism and other work behaviours that can be empirically demonstrated.

Practical implications

Viewing workaholism as an addiction that comprises extreme and prolonged behavioural over-engagement can be invaluable for promoting healthy work engagement. A clearer understanding of the underpinnings of workaholism can allow for a better assessment and management by practitioners.

Originality/value

This paper is one the first to contextualise workaholism in relation to other work behaviours, conceptualise it as a genuine behavioural addiction, and to apply clinical criteria for addiction to understand workaholism as prolonged and extreme behavioural engagement.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Dr. Mark D. Griffiths
and
Attila Szabo PhD

Abstract

Aims

The purpose of the study was to seek a better insight into whether the online medium or the online activity was more important in relation to excessive online use. It is not clear whether those people who spend excessive amounts of time on the Internet are engaged in general Internet or whether excessive Internet use is linked to specific activities.

Methods

Perceived changes in Internet use habits as function of hypothetical accessibility of favorite sites were investigated in young adults. University students (n = 130, mean age = 20.6 years) who had (on average) spent over 20 hours a week on the Internet for at least nine years completed a survey. The most favored online activities and expected quality of life without Internet access were also investigated.

Results

Findings revealed that social networking was by far the most popular online activity, and that lack of access to their preferred online activities would drop by 65% (as measured by perceived Internet usage). Approximately one in six participants (16%) claimed they would not even switch on the computer if access to their favorite online activities were unavailable. In relation to a hypothetical question about the quality of life without Internet access, the responses were normally distributed (rather than skewed).

Conclusions

These results show that time spent with Internet activity is not random and/or generalized, but appears more focused. Attraction or addiction on Internet to one or more specific behavior(s) may be a better way forward in the quest for better understanding excessive human behavior in the online environment.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims: Research suggests that excessive online gaming may lead to symptoms commonly experienced by substance addicts. Since games are particularly appealing to children and adolescents, these individuals may be more at risk than other groups of developing gaming addiction. Methods: Given these potential concerns, a literature review was undertaken in order (i) to present the classification basis of online gaming addiction using official mental disorder frameworks, (ii) to identify empirical studies that assess online gaming addiction in children and adolescents, and (iii) to present and evaluate the findings against the background of related and established mental disorder criteria. Results: Empirical evidence comprising 30 studies indicates that for some adolescents, gaming addiction exists and that as the addiction develops, online gaming addicts spend increasing amounts of time preparing for, organizing, and actually gaming. Conclusions: Evidence suggests that problematic online gaming can be conceptualized as a behavioral addiction rather than a disorder of impulse control.

Open access