Cybersex use (CU) is highly prevalent in Switzerland’s population, particularly among young men. CU may have negative consequences if it gets out of control. This study estimated prevalence of CU, frequency of CU (FCU), and problematic CU (PCU) and their correlates.
A non-selective sample of young Swiss men (N = 5,332, mean age = 25.45) completed a questionnaire assessing FCU and PCU, sociodemographics (age, linguistic region, and education), sexuality (being in a relationship, number of sexual partners, and sexual orientation), dysfunctional coping (denial, self-distraction, behavioral disengagement, and self-blame), and personality traits (aggression/hostility, sociability, anxiety/neuroticism, and sensation seeking). Associations were tested using hurdle and negative binomial regression models.
At least monthly CU was reported by 78.6% of participants. CU was associated positively with post-secondary schooling (vs. primary schooling), German-speaking (vs. French-speaking), homosexuality, bisexuality (vs. heterosexuality), more than one sexual partner (vs. one), dysfunctional coping (except denial), and all personality traits except sociability, but negatively with being in a relationship (vs. not), age, and sociability. FCU was associated positively with homosexuality, bisexuality, no or more than one sexual partner, dysfunctional coping (except denial), and all personality traits except sociability, but negatively with age, being in a relationship, and sociability. PCU was associated positively with bisexuality, four or more sexual partners, dysfunctional coping, and all personality traits except sociability, but negatively with German-speaking and sociability.
Discussion and conclusions
CU should be viewed in light of its associations with sociodemographic, sexual, and psychological factors. Healthcare professionals should consider these aspects to adapt their interventions to patients’ needs.
Behavioral addictions (BAs) and substance use disorders (SUDs) tend to co-occur; both are associated with mental health problems (MHPs). This study aimed to estimate the proportion of variance in the severity of MHPs explained by BAs and SUDs, individually and shared between addictions.
A sample of 5,516 young Swiss men (mean = 25.47 years old; SD = 1.26) completed a self-reporting questionnaire assessing alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco use disorders, illicit drug use other than cannabis, six BAs (Internet, gaming, smartphone, Internet sex, gambling, and work) and four MHPs (major depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, social anxiety disorder, and borderline personality disorder). Commonality analysis was used to decompose the variance in the severity of MHPs explained (R2) by BAs and SUDs into independent commonality coefficients. These were calculated for unique BA and SUD contributions and for all types of shared contributions.
BAs and SUDs explained between a fifth and a quarter of the variance in severity of MHPs, but individual addictions explained only about half of this explained variance uniquely; the other half was shared between addictions. A greater proportion of variance was explained uniquely or shared within BAs compared to SUDs, especially for social anxiety disorder.
The interactions of a broad range of addictions should be considered when investigating their associations with MHPs. BAs explain a larger part of the variance in MHPs than do SUDs and therefore play an important role in their interaction with MHPs.
Video gaming is a popular activity among young people. Time spent with gaming was found to be only moderately associated with gaming disorder. However, patterns of binge gaming (playing more than 5 h consecutively) were rarely considered in research on gaming. This study explores how binge gaming frequency is related with gaming disorder and mental health.
The sample came from the Cohort study on substance use risk factors (C-SURF) and comprised 5,358 young men aged 28.26 years (SD = 1.27). ANCOVA was conducted to estimate the association between binge gaming frequency (gaming at least 5 h consecutively) and gaming disorder (measured with the Game Addiction Scale) as well as indicators of mental health.
A total of 33.3% of the sample engaged in binge gaming at least once in the previous year, and 6.1% at least weekly. Frequency of binge gaming was associated with gaming disorder score in a linear dose-response relationship (linear trend = 2.30 [2.14, 2.46]) even if adjusted for time spent gaming (linear trend = 1.24 [1.03, 1.45). More frequent binge gaming was associated with lower life satisfaction and sleep quality, and with more major depression and social anxiety disorder symptoms.
Binge gaming patterns, especially daily or almost daily binge gaming, are important to consider with regard to gaming disorder and mental health. Asking about binge gaming may be a promising screening question for gaming related problems. Encouraging regular breaks from gaming may be a valuable prevention strategy to reduce negative outcomes of gaming.
There are concerns about the potential impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on substance use (SU) and other reinforcing behaviours (ORB). This paper investigates changes in SU and ORB among young men during the COVID-19 crisis (i.e. March–June 2020).
Before and during the COVID-19 crisis, 2,344 young Swiss men completed questionnaires covering SU (i.e. alcohol, cigarettes, illegal cannabis), ORB (i.e. gaming, watching TV series, internet pornography) and sociodemographic and work-related characteristics (i.e. deterioration in the work situation, change in working hours, change in working hours from home, healthcare workers’ and other professionals’ contacts with potentially infected people, linguistic region, call up to military or civil protection unit, living situation, age).
Latent-change score models showed significant decreases of 17% for drinking volume and frequency of heavy episodic drinking, and a significant increase of 75% for time spent gaming and watching TV series. Subgroups showed greater relative increases. French-speaking participants, those who experienced a deterioration in their work situation and healthcare workers in contact with potentially infected people reported increased cigarette use. Those without children increased gaming, whereas those who worked fewer hours, experienced a deterioration in their work situation or were French-speaking did more gaming and watched more TV series. Those who lived alone or were German-speaking watched more internet pornography.
During the COVID-19 crisis, young Swiss men drank less alcohol and spent more time gaming and watching TV series. Changes in SU and ORB were not homogenous in the young Swiss men population.