Comorbidity of Internet gaming disorder and alcohol use disorder: A focus on clinical characteristics and gaming patterns (2017)

Am J Addict. 2017 Mar 22. doi: 10.1111/ajad.12528.

Na E1, Lee H2, Choi I3,4, Kim DJ1.



Although Internet gaming disorder (IGD), which has been considered as a behavioral addiction in DSM-5, shares core features with alcohol use disorder (AUD), there has been minimal research on the clinical implications of the comorbidity between IGD and AUD. The purpose of this study is to investigate clinical psychopathologies and Internet game usage patterns of IGD, AUD, and their comorbid status.


Participants (n = 1819) completed a cross-sectional web-based survey. The survey questionnaire included socio-demographic data, the IGD scale according to DSM-5 criteria, the Korean version of Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for AUD, the Dickman Impulsivity Inventory (DII)-short version for impulsivity, the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS) for self-control, the subscales of the Symptom Check-List 90 Items-Revised (SCL-90-R) for depression and anxiety, and the Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Approach System Scale, and the Internet game usage patterns.


The comorbidity group had substantially more severe clinical features such as impulsivity, impaired self-control, and mood symptoms than either IGD or AUD only. Especially the depression scale for the comorbidity group (26.0) is considerably higher than 13.0 for IGD and 16.0 for AUD alone. Furthermore, the comorbidity group spent twice as much money on Internet gaming as IGD alone (all p < .05).


The findings of this study indicate that the comorbidity between IGD with AUD showed more severe psychopathological impairments, and the respective persons spent more money on gaming than either IGD or AUD alone. These particular characteristics may serve as feasible therapeutic targets in clinical settings.

PMID: 28328110

DOI: 10.1111/ajad.12528