Association of Internet gaming disorder symptoms with anxiety and depressive symptoms and substance use: an international cross-sectional study

Julius Burkauskas, Inga Griskova-Bulanova, Ana Đorić, Yatan Pal Singh Balhara, Arya Sidharth, Ramdas Ransing, Tuong–Vi –V V. Thi, Truong Ngoc Huong, Helin Yilmaz Kafali, Gamze Erzin, Zahir Vally, Mita Rani Roy Chowdhury, Pawan Sharma, Rabi Shakya, Paulo Moreira, Sara Faria, Isa Multazam Noor, Luís Antônio Monteiro Campos, Anna Rebeka Szczegielniak, Dejan Stevanovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Problematic Internet gaming is an increasingly recognized global mental health problem. This multicultural cross-sectional study examined the association between Internet gaming disorder (IGD) symptoms and anxiety and depressive symptoms and substance use within a sample of young Internet users. In total, 3529 college/university students (1260 (35.7%) males; mean age 21 ± 3 years) were surveyed online. We assessed online gaming patterns using the Internet Gaming Disorder Self-report for College/University Students (ICMH-IGD), symptoms of depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and symptoms of anxiety using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale-7. Results: IGD symptoms were associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and substance use, independent of time spent online, psychiatric diagnosis, culture, or sociodemographic characteristics. For males, more significant IGD symptoms were associated with more extended Internet browsing per day time and higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, while for females, with more extended Internet browsing per day time, marihuana use, and higher levels of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Our study found that more overt symptoms of IGD were associated with higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms and substance use. Still, these associations differed among males and females, suggesting that gender differences should be considered when planning specific treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalMiddle East Current Psychiatry
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Gaming addiction
  • Gaming disorder
  • Problematic gaming
  • Psychiatric symptoms
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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