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Prevalence of Internet Gaming Disorder among Korean Adolescents and Associations with Non-psychotic Psychological Symptoms, and Physical Aggression

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Objective: We examined the prevalence rates of Internet gaming disorder among South Korean middle school students, the dominant symptoms of Internet gaming disorder, and the interrelationships between such disorder and non-psychotic psychological symptoms (ie, anxiety, depression, and impulsiveness) and with physical aggression. Methods: Data were collected from a national sample of 2024 students (70.3% gamers; 50.6% boys). Gaming disorder and prevalent symptoms were measured by the 9 diagnostic criteria proposed in DSM-5. Results: Our results showed 5.9% of the sample (boys 10.4%, girls 1.2%) was classified as adolescents with gaming disorder. Meanwhile, 8% (boys 14.2%, girls 5.9%) of the sample was found to be at high risk of gaming disorder. The prevalent symptoms were mood modification, behavioral salience, conflict, withdrawal, and relapse, in that order. A total of 9.2%, 15.1%, and 10.9% of the adolescents with gaming disorder had non-psychotic psychological anxiety, depression, and impulsiveness symptoms, respectively. Nearly 11% of students with Internet gaming disorder had 2 non-psychotic psychological symptoms or more. Conclusion: These results provide supportive empirical evidence that Internet gaming disorder can lead to severe distress and that it can be associated with comorbid symptoms that are relevant to development or continuance of the gaming disorder.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor, School of Media & Communication, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea 2: Assistant Professor, School of Media & Communication, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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