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István Tóth-Király Doctoral School of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

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Beáta Bőthe Doctoral School of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary

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Gábor Orosz Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

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We live in exciting times for the scientific study of work addiction, given its increased relevance and the diverse perspectives one might take to approach this phenomenon. Simultaneously, this field does not appear to be unified as a result of several misleading myths, which are addressed by the debate paper of Griffiths et al. (2018). In response, we would like to complement this study by proposing that the construct of interest should be more precisely identified in the context of related constructs and that an integrative framework should be applied, which is able to take into account not just the micro-level characteristics (i.e., individual differences), but meso- (i.e., environmental factors) and macro-level (i.e., societal factors) ones as well.

Abstract

We live in exciting times for the scientific study of work addiction, given its increased relevance and the diverse perspectives one might take to approach this phenomenon. Simultaneously, this field does not appear to be unified as a result of several misleading myths, which are addressed by the debate paper of Griffiths et al. (2018). In response, we would like to complement this study by proposing that the construct of interest should be more precisely identified in the context of related constructs and that an integrative framework should be applied, which is able to take into account not just the micro-level characteristics (i.e., individual differences), but meso- (i.e., environmental factors) and macro-level (i.e., societal factors) ones as well.

Introduction

We welcome the debate paper of Griffiths, Demetrovics, and Atroszko (2018) in which they address key myths and issues related to the scientific study of work addiction (WA). In the following commentary, we would like to contribute to this discussion by proposing an integrative model (Figure 1) that reflects on several of the myths highlighted by Griffiths et al. (2018). In doing so, the conceptual similarities and dissimilarities are discussed between WA and several related constructs as this initial step of precise conceptualization is needed if we wished to better understand WA. Subsequently, several points addressed by Griffiths et al. (2018) are expanded to demonstrate the potential fruitfulness of seeing the forest (i.e., WA) through different trees (i.e., personality traits, norms, or economical changes).


          Figure 1.
Figure 1.

The proposed integrative model

Citation: Journal of Behavioral Addictions 7, 4; 10.1556/2006.7.2018.122

A Clearner Separation of Similar Constructs

Psychological research is sometimes characterized by overlapping constructs. As highlighted by Griffiths et al. (2018), these questions permeate the field of behavioral addictions with the simultaneous presence of similar, yet different constructs, such as WA, workaholism (Spence & Robbins, 1992), passion for work (Vallerand, 2015), and work engagement (Bakker, Schaufeli, Leiter, & Taris, 2008). While Griffiths et al. (2018) explicitly distinguished WA and workaholism (Myth 4), the presence of the other constructs could also cause confusion to researchers; fortunately, there have been some studies that addressed these questions.

First of all, Birkeland and Buch (2015) and Vallerand (2015; Curran, Hill, Appleton, Vallerand, & Standage, 2015) compared passion, workaholism, and engagement to one another and highlighted some important theoretical distinctions between the three constructs. With regard to passion and workaholism, it is worth noting that workaholics do not necessarily like, love, or enjoy the work that they are doing. In addition, the Dualistic Model of Passion (Vallerand, 2015) states that when one is passionate for work, this activity is part of one’s identity and it is perceived as being meaningful and valuable for the individual. However, this is not the case for WA. While passion is a dual concept that differentiates between the positive harmonious passion and the negative obsessive passion, WA is found predominantly negative by scientific research. Rather high correlations have been observed between different problematic behaviors and obsessive passion (e.g., Orosz, Vallerand, Bőthe, Tóth-Király, & Paskuj, 2016; Wang & Chu, 2007), suggesting that there might be fine-grained differences between the two constructs that is worth future investigations.

One potential difference between WA and other related construct might be the attitude toward work. Attitudes are positive (“I like my job”) or negative (“I hate my job”) personal evaluations toward a particular object. The detailed examination of these attitudes could reveal whether individuals who are addicted to work have positive attitudes toward certain aspects of work (e.g., “I like working together with inspiring colleagues”), but negative attitudes toward other aspects (e.g., “I hate doing the administrative parts of my job”). The positive aspects of work might be rewarding and might even strengthen WA. Such research could help not only in the distinction between obsessive passion and WA, but also can provide insights about the dynamics of WA development and maintenance. Moreover, the natural course of WA should be identified, given that the addiction process typically involves a transition from voluntary engagement with a particular behavior (i.e., passion) to a more compulsive engagement (i.e., WA), in which positive or even recreational feelings transform to rather negative feelings (Brand, Young, Laier, Wöfling, & Potenza, 2016). Overall, the close inspection of the ratio of positive versus negative aspects of work attitude might be informative regarding how obsessive passion can turn into WA.

(Over)engagement and workaholism also have similarities to one another, given that both refer to heavy work investment. Empirical evidence also showed that workaholism and work engagement are only weakly and positively correlated (Schaufeli, Taris, & Bakker, 2006; Shimazu, Schaufeli, Kamiyama, & Kawakami, 2015). Gaming and TV series watching research also demonstrated that high engagement and problematic use are qualitatively different constructs (Deleuze, Long, Liu, Maurage, & Billieux, 2018; Tóth-Király, Bőthe, Tóth-Fáber, Hága, & Orosz, 2017). Engagement is not necessarily related to negative outcomes, whereas WA is. High engagement might be interpreted as a potential precursor of addiction as it only fulfills the peripheral – instead of the core – criteria of addiction.

Finally, it has also to be reinforced that time spent with work is not a sufficient criteria of WA (Myth 9). As highlighted by Griffiths et al. (2018) and other scholars (e.g., Bőthe et al., 2018; Chak & Leung, 2004), there is often only a small-to-moderate association between time spent with the activity and behavioral addiction. Future research may focus on quantity of work from the perspective of comparing individuals with high work engagement and WA. Overall, although sharing a number of similarities, these constructs nevertheless appear to be distinct, and researchers should put more emphasis on the precise identification of the construct of their interest as the initial step of research.

Personality Factors, Situational Factors, or Both?

With the precise identification of the construct of interest, we should turn our attention to the investigation of relevant correlates, which may stem from three sources: micro-level, meso-level, and macro-level. Upon reviewing the literature, one can see that previous studies predominantly investigated associations between WA and micro-level or individual variables such as, for example, Big Five personality traits (e.g., Andreassen, Hetland, & Pallesen, 2010), obsessive–compulsive personality (Mudrack, 2004), or self-esteem (Burke, 2004) (see the meta-analytic study of Clark, Michel, Zhdanova, Pui, & Baltes, 2016). These studies support the notion that there are some individual differences that might predispose one toward WA. Still, there is an additional micro-level characteristic that received less scientific attention from the perspective of WA: work motivations.

Motivations could also have important associations with WA by answering the simple questions of “Why do I work?” or “Why would I work hard?” (Gagné & Deci, 2005; Gagné et al., 2015). Previous studies highlighted the influential role of work motivations in relation to burnout (Fernet, Gagné, & Austin, 2010), organizational commitment (Howard, Gagné, Morin, & Forest, 2018), or job satisfaction (Howard, Gagné, Morin, & Van den Broeck, 2016). Taking the perspective of Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2017), a macro-theory of human motivation and development, one might work hard for the inherent enjoyment derived from the activity and others might work hard to achieve certain financial and social gains. While the relevance of motivations has been highlighted within the work setting, less scientific attention has been paid to their relations with WA. Some initial findings suggest that these motivations might not only predict WA, but they might also facilitate the separation of WA and work engagement (Stoeber, Davis, & Townley, 2013; van Beek, Hu, Schaufeli, Taris, & Schreurs, 2012). On the whole, we believe that focusing on attitudes and motivations might shed light on WA from different perspectives.

Motivations themselves might be influenced by many factors of which task significance is particularly relevant as it refers to the subjective judgments that work has a positive effect on others (Grant et al., 2007; Hackman & Oldham, 1976). When workers believe that, through their work, they contribute to the well-being of others, they are more likely to experience their work as being meaningful and valuable, subsequently becoming more involved in work and invest additional time and energy in it (Grant, 2008). In addition, perceived social impact (i.e., own actions contribute to others’ lives; Grant et al., 2007) and perceived social value (i.e., own actions are appreciated by others; Leary & Baumeister, 2000) could also contribute to overengagement with work or WA. This way, workers’ basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Ryan & Deci, 2017) are also satisfied which, in turn, might further increase intrinsic work motivation.

Beyond the micro-level characteristics, meso-level attributes or environmental factors (e.g., workplace climate or relationship dynamics between colleagues) could also play an important role in WA. Of major interest are social norms as they play an important role in other problematic behaviors, such as heavy drinking (Neighbors, Lee, Lewis, Fossos, & Larimer, 2007), pathological Internet use (Liu, Fang, Deng, & Zhang, 2012), or problematic Facebook use (Marino et al., 2016). Workplace norms are mental representations of appropriate behaviors at the workplace. While many norms could be present in a workplace, three salient ones could be highlighted: (a) how much work is displayed in the relevant group (descriptive norms), (b) how much the relevant group approves work (prescriptive norms), and (c) information about how fellow employees behavior is changing over time (dynamic norms). Imagine that a graduate student gets a job in a company. The work group arrives at 9 a.m. and leaves at 8 p.m. (descriptive norm); his direct supervisor expects the student to work with full concentration and employees can have only short lunch breaks (prescriptive norm) and this student heard that in the past few months his immediate colleagues tend to spend more and more time with work (dynamic norm; Sparkman & Walton, 2017). In this context, the dutiful young employee who has just started the job might develop WA more easily.

Although not always in the focus of behavioral addiction research, there are some studies that support the importance of meso-level investigations, such as increased job demands (e.g., Andreassen et al., 2017), lower job resources (Molino, Bakker, & Ghislieri, 2016), competitive climate (Keller, Spurk, Baumeler, & Hirschi, 2016), managerial support (Mazzetti, Vignoli, Schaufeli, & Guglielmi, 2017), and job control (Schaufeli, Taris, & van Rhenen, 2008), which are positively related to WA. For these reasons, WA research might benefit from exploring not only the micro-level characteristics, but the work environment as well as other attributes can have differentiated effects on employees with different personality traits.

Finally, macro-level or societal characteristics refer to the global aspects of one’s environment that might include the effects of culture, economic situation, or average income. There has been an expansion of economic activity on the globe, which makes it possible to work in other countries. Regardless of crossing actual or virtual borders, macro-level characteristics are likely to influence one’s engagement with work, even if these effects are not that salient on a micro-level. For instance, one of the most common differentiations is between individualistic and collectivistic cultures (Hofstede, 2001; Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 2010). Individualistic cultures (typically Western countries) are characterized by individualistic values, such as self-fulfillment and personal autonomy; thus, the focus is on the individual. On the other hand, in collectivist cultures (typically Eastern countries), the group is in the focus instead of the individual; thus, interdependence and the interest of the group is prioritized (which can lead to stronger effect of the norms). Although work plays an important role in everyone’s lives (regardless of culture), the quality of one’s life has a higher importance than economic growth in individualistic cultures relative to collectivistic ones (Hu et al., 2014). This is also reinforced by the notion that people work harder in societies where survival values are more important than self-expression values (Snir & Harpaz, 2009). Interestingly, a couple of initial studies supported these hypotheses (Hu et al., 2014; Snir & Harpaz, 2009).

Conclusions

One last point that we would like to conclude is that the different levels in the aforementioned model do not function independently; in fact, these are likely to influence one another, akin to Vallerand’s (1997) hierarchical model of motivation. Economical changes (i.e., a financial crisis) are likely to influence one’s workplace (i.e., the supervisor requires the employees to work overtime), which is likely to be a fuel for the individual’s characteristics toward being more and more engaged with work (i.e., because it is important for the individual to do a thorough work). Consequently, although the effect of each level of generality is predictive of WA, their unique interactions might reveal interesting findings. Thus, in line with prior calls for a more comprehensive approach (Griffiths, 2005; Griffiths & Karanika-Murray, 2012) and for the avoidance of overpathologization (Billieux, Schimmenti, Khazaal, Maurage, & Heeren, 2015) future studies should put emphasis on attitudinal dimensions, situative, value and cultural factors, and their interaction with individual factors in investigating the causes and consequences of WA.

Authors’ contribution

All the authors contributed equally to the manuscript in terms of literature review, manuscript drafting, and approval of final version of this article. Since all three authors contributed equally to the preparation of this article, their order was determined at random; all three authors should be considered as first authors.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interest.

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  • Vallerand, R. J. (2015). The psychology of passion: A dualistic model. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • van Beek, I. , Hu, Q. , Schaufeli, W. B. , Taris, T. W. , & Schreurs, B. H. (2012). For fun, love, or money: What drives workaholic, engaged, and burned-out employees at work? Applied Psychology, 61(1), 3055. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.2011.00454.x

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    • Export Citation
  • Wang, C. C. , & Chu, Y. S. (2007). Harmonious passion and obsessive passion in playing online games. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 35(7), 9971006. doi:10.2224/sbp.2007.35.7.997

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  • Wang, C. C. , & Chu, Y. S. (2007). Harmonious passion and obsessive passion in playing online games. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 35(7), 9971006. doi:10.2224/sbp.2007.35.7.997

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Please, download the file from HERE

Dr. Zsolt Demetrovics
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
Address: Izabella u. 46. H-1064 Budapest, Hungary
Phone: +36-1-461-2681
E-mail: jba@ppk.elte.hu

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2022  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
5713
Journal Impact Factor 7.8
Rank by Impact Factor

Psychiatry (SCIE) 18/155
Psychiatry (SSCI) 13/144

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
7.2
5 Year
Impact Factor
8.9
Journal Citation Indicator 1.42
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

Psychiatry 35/264

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
69
Scimago
Journal Rank
1.918
Scimago Quartile Score Clinical Psychology Q1
Medicine (miscellaneous) Q1
Psychiatry and Mental Health Q1
Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
11.1
Scopus
Cite Score Rank
Clinical Psychology 10/292 (96th PCTL)
Psychiatry and Mental Health 30/531 (94th PCTL)
Medicine (miscellaneous) 25/309 (92th PCTL)
Scopus
SNIP
1.966

 

 
2021  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
5223
Journal Impact Factor 7,772
Rank by Impact Factor Psychiatry SCIE 26/155
Psychiatry SSCI 19/142
Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
7,130
5 Year
Impact Factor
9,026
Journal Citation Indicator 1,39
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

Psychiatry 34/257

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
56
Scimago
Journal Rank
1,951
Scimago Quartile Score Clinical Psychology (Q1)
Medicine (miscellaneous) (Q1)
Psychiatry and Mental Health (Q1)
Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
11,5
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Clinical Psychology 5/292 (D1)
Psychiatry and Mental Health 20/529 (D1)
Medicine (miscellaneous) 17/276 (D1)
Scopus
SNIP
2,184

2020  
Total Cites 4024
WoS
Journal
Impact Factor
6,756
Rank by Psychiatry (SSCI) 12/143 (Q1)
Impact Factor Psychiatry 19/156 (Q1)
Impact Factor 6,052
without
Journal Self Cites
5 Year 8,735
Impact Factor
Journal  1,48
Citation Indicator  
Rank by Journal  Psychiatry 24/250 (Q1)
Citation Indicator   
Citable 86
Items
Total 74
Articles
Total 12
Reviews
Scimago 47
H-index
Scimago 2,265
Journal Rank
Scimago Clinical Psychology Q1
Quartile Score Psychiatry and Mental Health Q1
  Medicine (miscellaneous) Q1
Scopus 3593/367=9,8
Scite Score  
Scopus Clinical Psychology 7/283 (Q1)
Scite Score Rank Psychiatry and Mental Health 22/502 (Q1)
Scopus 2,026
SNIP  
Days from  38
submission  
to 1st decision  
Days from  37
acceptance  
to publication  
Acceptance 31%
Rate  

2019  
Total Cites
WoS
2 184
Impact Factor 5,143
Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
4,346
5 Year
Impact Factor
5,758
Immediacy
Index
0,587
Citable
Items
75
Total
Articles
67
Total
Reviews
8
Cited
Half-Life
3,3
Citing
Half-Life
6,8
Eigenfactor
Score
0,00597
Article Influence
Score
1,447
% Articles
in
Citable Items
89,33
Normalized
Eigenfactor
0,7294
Average
IF
Percentile
87,923
Scimago
H-index
37
Scimago
Journal Rank
1,767
Scopus
Scite Score
2540/376=6,8
Scopus
Scite Score Rank
Cllinical Psychology 16/275 (Q1)
Medicine (miscellenous) 31/219 (Q1)
Psychiatry and Mental Health 47/506 (Q1)
Scopus
SNIP
1,441
Acceptance
Rate
32%

 

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Publication Model Gold Open Access
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge 990 EUR/article for articles submitted after 30 April 2023 (850 EUR for articles submitted prior to this date)
Regional discounts on country of the funding agency World Bank Lower-middle-income economies: 50%
World Bank Low-income economies: 100%
Further Discounts Corresponding authors, affiliated to an EISZ member institution subscribing to the journal package of Akadémiai Kiadó: 100%.
Subscription Information Gold Open Access

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2011
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
4
Founder Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
Founder's
Address
H-1053 Budapest, Hungary Egyetem tér 1-3.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 2062-5871 (Print)
ISSN 2063-5303 (Online)

Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Zsolt DEMETROVICS

Assistant Editor(s): Csilla ÁGOSTON

Associate Editors

  • Stephanie ANTONS (Universitat Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
  • Joel BILLIEUX (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Beáta BŐTHE (University of Montreal, Canada)
  • Matthias BRAND (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
  • Ruth J. van HOLST (Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands)
  • Daniel KING (Flinders University, Australia)
  • Gyöngyi KÖKÖNYEI (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Ludwig KRAUS (IFT Institute for Therapy Research, Germany)
  • Marc N. POTENZA (Yale University, USA)
  • Hans-Jurgen RUMPF (University of Lübeck, Germany)

Editorial Board

  • Max W. ABBOTT (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
  • Elias N. ABOUJAOUDE (Stanford University School of Medicine, USA)
  • Hojjat ADELI (Ohio State University, USA)
  • Alex BALDACCHINO (University of Dundee, United Kingdom)
  • Alex BLASZCZYNSKI (University of Sidney, Australia)
  • Judit BALÁZS (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Kenneth BLUM (University of Florida, USA)
  • Henrietta BOWDEN-JONES (Imperial College, United Kingdom)
  • Wim VAN DEN BRINK (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Gerhard BÜHRINGER (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)
  • Sam-Wook CHOI (Eulji University, Republic of Korea)
  • Damiaan DENYS (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Jeffrey L. DEREVENSKY (McGill University, Canada)
  • Naomi FINEBERG (University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom)
  • Marie GRALL-BRONNEC (University Hospital of Nantes, France)
  • Jon E. GRANT (University of Minnesota, USA)
  • Mark GRIFFITHS (Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom)
  • Anneke GOUDRIAAN (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Heather HAUSENBLAS (Jacksonville University, USA)
  • Tobias HAYER (University of Bremen, Germany)
  • Susumu HIGUCHI (National Hospital Organization Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center, Japan)
  • David HODGINS (University of Calgary, Canada)
  • Eric HOLLANDER (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA)
  • Jaeseung JEONG (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea)
  • Yasser KHAZAAL (Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland)
  • Orsolya KIRÁLY (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Emmanuel KUNTSCHE (La Trobe University, Australia)
  • Hae Kook LEE (The Catholic University of Korea, Republic of Korea)
  • Michel LEJOXEUX (Paris University, France)
  • Anikó MARÁZ (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany)
  • Giovanni MARTINOTTI (‘Gabriele d’Annunzio’ University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy)
  • Astrid MÜLLER  (Hannover Medical School, Germany)
  • Frederick GERARD MOELLER (University of Texas, USA)
  • Daniel Thor OLASON (University of Iceland, Iceland)
  • Nancy PETRY (University of Connecticut, USA)
  • Bettina PIKÓ (University of Szeged, Hungary)
  • Afarin RAHIMI-MOVAGHAR (Teheran University of Medical Sciences, Iran)
  • József RÁCZ (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary)
  • Rory C. REID (University of California Los Angeles, USA)
  • Marcantanio M. SPADA (London South Bank University, United Kingdom)
  • Daniel SPRITZER (Study Group on Technological Addictions, Brazil)
  • Dan J. STEIN (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Sherry H. STEWART (Dalhousie University, Canada)
  • Attila SZABÓ (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Ferenc TÚRY (Semmelweis University, Hungary)
  • Alfred UHL (Austrian Federal Health Institute, Austria)
  • Róbert URBÁN  (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Johan VANDERLINDEN (University Psychiatric Center K.U.Leuven, Belgium)
  • Alexander E. VOISKOUNSKY (Moscow State University, Russia)
  • Aviv M. WEINSTEIN  (Ariel University, Israel)
  • Kimberly YOUNG (Center for Internet Addiction, USA)

 

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Apr 2024 0 19 20
May 2024 0 0 0