Front Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 26;9:263. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00263. eCollection 2018.
Background: Relatively little is known about which neuropsychological factors promote recovery from Internet gaming disorder (IGD).
Methods: With informed consents, a cohort study was conducted in Seoul metropolitan area, South Korea, to investigate the course of IGD in youths. At baseline, we assessed psychosocial measures and gaming related measures such as Young’s Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the Aggression Questionnaire. The Balloon Analog Risk Task was also performed to study risk-taking behavior. A total of 60 subjects demonstrating three or greater criteria in the diagnostic interviews on IGD and the IAT score of 50 or above were included. After brief parental coaching at baseline, the participants were followed up at 3 and 6 months (n = 31). The baseline characteristics were compared between the non-improved group (<10% improvement in IAT score) and the improved group (≥30% improvement in IAT score) using Mann-Whitney U-test or chi-squared tests with a two-tailed statistical significance of 0.05.
Results: The non-improved group and the improved group did not demonstrate significant differences regarding demographics or the IAT scores at baseline. However, the IAT scores were significantly higher in the non-improved group at both 3 and 6 months. The non-improved group was also more likely to display higher aggression and harm avoidance than the improved group at baseline.
Discussion: Youths with excessive gaming problems should be evaluated for aggression and harm avoidance since they contributed to a worse prognosis. For those with high aggression or harm avoidance, more active therapeutic interventions should be considered.
KEYWORDS: course; gaming disorder; harm avoidance; hostility; prognosis; recovery; risk-taking