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Adult internet game addiction tied to depression, nervousness

04 Sep 2017

Adult internet game addiction (IGA) is significantly correlated with depression, nervousness and anger, a new study has shown.

“This study suggests that IGA may be a way to escape from depression, and not from alcohol use disorder or behavioural addiction,” researchers said.

In the study sample of 1,401 adults (mean age 27.5±8.3 years; 32.4 percent female), the prevalence rate of IGA was 7.71 percent (n=108). Significantly more young (p<0.0001), unmarried (p=0.002) and unemployed (p=0.001) participants had IGA.

Moreover, rates of suicide ideation, plan and attempts were significantly higher in participants with IGA than in those without (p<0.0001 for all).

Multivariate logistic regression showed that major depressive disorder (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.3; 95 percent CI, 1.7 to 6.1; p<0.001), depressive disorder (aOR, 5.5; 3.3 to 9.0; p<0.001) and dysthymia (aOR, 4.8; 1.6 to 14.9; p<0.001) were significantly associated with IGA after adjusting for covariates such as marital status and education years.

Analysis of the problematic game playing scale showed that “escape” was the only scale dimension that was significantly associated with depression (aOR, 4.1; 2.3 to 7.5; p<0.001). A total of 126 of the 1,401 subjects played video games more often to escape from negative emotions.

There were no significant differences between the IGA and non-IGA groups in terms alcohol use disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, psychotic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and social phobia, among other psychiatric comorbidities.

Information used in the study were retrieved from the Korean Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study 2011. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and standardized interviews were used to assess depressive symptoms and lifetime suicide attempts, respectively.

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