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Inclusion of Gaming Disorder in ICD has more advantages than disadvantages

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

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Orsolya Király and Zsolt Demetrovics

This paper is a response to a recent debate paper in which Aarseth et al. argue that the inclusion of a formal diagnosis and categories for problematic video gaming or Gaming Disorder (GD) in the World Health Organization’s 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) is premature and therefore the proposal should be removed. The present authors systematically address all the six main arguments presented by Aarseth et al. and argue that, even though some of the concerns presented in the debate paper are legitimate, the inclusion of GD in ICD-11 has more advantages than disadvantages. Furthermore, the present authors also argue that the two GD subtypes (“GD, predominantly online” and “GD, predominantly offline”) are unnecessary and rather problematic; the main category for GD would be perfectly sufficient.

Open access

Commentary on: Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research

The diagnostic pitfalls of surveys: If you score positive on a test of addiction, you still have a good chance not to be addicted

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Aniko Maraz, Orsolya Király and Zsolt Demetrovics

Background and Aims

Survey-based studies often fail to take into account the predictive value of a test, in other words, the probability of a person having (or not having) the disease when scoring positive (or negative) on the given screening test.

Methods

We re-visited the theory and basic calculations of diagnostic accuracy.

Results

In general, the lower the prevalence the worse the predictive value is. When the disorder is relatively rare, a positive test finding is typically not useful in confirming its presence given the high proportion of false positive cases. For example, using the Compulsive Buying Scale (Faber & O’Guinn, 1992) three in four people classified as having compulsive buying disorder will in fact not have the disorder.

Conclusions

Screening tests are limited to serve as an early detection “gate” and only clinical (interview-based) studies are suitable to claim that a certain behaviour is truly “pathological”.

Open access

Abstract

Objective

In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) included the diagnostic criteria of Internet gaming disorder (IGD). Then, in 2019, the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) categorized gaming disorder (GD) as an addictive disorder. This review aimed to review the raised concerns, debate, and research of IGD or GD criteria and provide suggestions to resolve them.

Methods

A narrative review was conducted, and PubMed was searched for articles mentioning concerns and research on the DSM-5 criteria for IGD, ICD-11 criteria for GD, or criteria for other synonyms, such as problematic gaming or gaming addiction. A total of 107 articles were identified.

Results

Concerns were organized into three categories: conceptual framework, moral panic, and diagnostic validity. Most argumentations supported the proposition that GD and other substance use disorders have similar presentations. A clear definition of GD and adequate public education could prevent rather than exacerbate moral panic. Several researchers reported concerns regarding the nosology, diagnostic validity, and wording of each criterion. However, the threshold, five of the nine criteria with impaired function, demonstrated adequate validity in interview studies.

Conclusion

The current findings support the addiction framework, functional impairment, and validity of the GD criteria. However, further prospective, experimental, and clinical studies validating these findings are warranted. Moreover, an integrative review or debate conference could contribute to the organization of the available results and concept development. Aggregating adequate scientific information could allay or resolve concerns related to the diagnosis of GD.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Orsolya Király, Mark D. Griffiths, Daniel L. King, Hae-Kook Lee, Seung-Yup Lee, Fanni Bányai, Ágnes Zsila, Zsofia K. Takacs and Zsolt Demetrovics

Background and aims

Empirical research into problematic video game playing suggests that overuse might cause functional and psychological impairments for a minority of gamers. Therefore, the need for regulation in the case of video games (whether governmental or self-imposed) has arisen but has only been implemented in a few countries around the world, and predominantly in Asia. This paper provides a systematic review of current and potential policies addressing problematic gaming.

Methods

After conducting a systematic search in the areas of prevention, treatment, and policy measures relating to problematic Internet and video game use, papers were selected that targeted problematic gaming policies (N = 12; six in English and six in Korean). These papers served as the basis of this review.

Results

Policies were classified into three major groups: (i) policy measures limiting availability of video games (e.g., shutdown policy, fatigue system, and parental controls), (ii) measures aiming to reduce risk and harm (e.g., warning messages), and (iii) measures taken to provide help services for gamers. Beyond the attempt to classify the current and potential policy measures, the authors also tried to evaluate their efficiency theoretically and (if data were available) empirically.

Discussion and conclusions

Overall, it appears that although several steps have been taken to address problematic video game playing, most of these steps were not as effective as expected, or had not been evaluated empirically for efficacy. The reason for this may lie in the fact that the policies outlined only addressed or influenced specific aspects of the problem instead of using a more integrative approach.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Eszter Kotyuk, Anna Magi, Andrea Eisinger, Orsolya Király, Andrea Vereczkei, Csaba Barta, Mark D. Griffiths, Anna Székely, Gyöngyi Kökönyei, Judit Farkas, Bernadette Kun, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, Róbert Urbán, Kenneth Blum and Zsolt Demetrovics

Abstract

Background and aims

Changes in the nomenclature of addictions suggest a significant shift in the conceptualization of addictions, where non-substance related behaviors can also be classified as addictions. A large amount of data provides empirical evidence that there are overlaps of different types of addictive behaviors in etiology, phenomenology, and in the underlying psychological and biological mechanisms. Our aim was to investigate the co-occurrences of a wide range of substance use and behavioral addictions.

Methods

The present epidemiological analysis was carried out as part of the Psychological and Genetic Factors of the Addictive Behaviors (PGA) Study, where data were collected from 3,003 adolescents and young adults (42.6% males; mean age 21 years). Addictions to psychoactive substances and behaviors were rigorously assessed.

Results

Data is provided on lifetime occurrences of the assessed substance uses, their co-occurrences, the prevalence estimates of specific behavioral addictions, and co-occurrences of different substance use and potentially addictive behaviors. Associations were found between (i) smoking and problematic Internet use, exercising, eating disorders, and gambling (ii) alcohol consumption and problematic Internet use, problematic online gaming, gambling, and eating disorders, and (iii) cannabis use and problematic online gaming and gambling.

Conclusions

The results suggest a large overlap between the occurrence of these addictions and behaviors and underlies the importance of investigating the possible common psychological, genetic and neural pathways. These data further support concepts such as the Reward Deficiency Syndrome and the component model of addictions that propose a common phenomenological and etiological background of different addictive and related behaviors.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
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

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