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  • 1 Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • 2 Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium
  • 3 UKE – Kore University of Enna, Italy
  • 4 Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland
Open access

Background

Behavioral addiction research has been particularly flourishing over the last two decades. However, recent publications have suggested that nearly all daily life activities might lead to a genuine addiction.

Methods and aim

In this article, we discuss how the use of atheoretical and confirmatory research approaches may result in the identification of an unlimited list of “new” behavioral addictions.

Results

Both methodological and theoretical shortcomings of these studies were discussed.

Conclusions

We suggested that studies overpathologizing daily life activities are likely to prompt a dismissive appraisal of behavioral addiction research. Consequently, we proposed several roadmaps for future research in the field, centrally highlighting the need for longer tenable behavioral addiction research that shifts from a mere criteria-based approach toward an approach focusing on the psychological processes involved.

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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)