DSM-5 Internet gaming disorder among a sample of Mexican first-year college students (2019)

J Behav Addict. 2019 Dec 13:1-11. doi: 10.1556/2006.8.2019.62.

Borges G1, Orozco R1, Benjet C1, Martínez Martínez KI2, Contreras EV3, Jiménez Pérez AL3, Peláez Cedrés AJ4, Hernández Uribe PC4, Díaz Couder MAC5, Gutierrez-Garcia RA6, Quevedo Chavez GE7, Albor Y8, Mendez E1, Medina-Mora ME1,9, Mortier P10, Rumpf HJ11.



DSM-5 includes Internet gaming disorder (IGD) as a condition for further study. While online and offline gaming may produce undesired negative effects on players, we know little about the nosology of IGD and its prevalence, especially in countries with emerging economies.


A self-administered survey has been employed to estimate prevalence of DSM-5 IGD and study the structure and performance of an instrument in Spanish to measure DSM-5 IGD among 7,022 first-year students in 5 Mexican universities that participated in the University Project for Healthy Students (PUERTAS), part of the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health International College Student Initiative.


The scale for IGD showed unidimensionality with factor loadings between 0.694 and 0.838 and a Cronbach’s α = .816. Items derived from gaming and from substance disorders symptoms mixed together. We found a 12-month prevalence of IGD of 5.2% in the total sample; prevalence was different for males (10.2%) and females (1.2%), but similar for ages 18-19 years (5.0%) and age 20+ (5.8%) years. Among gamers, the prevalence was 8.6%. Students with IGD were more likely to report lifetime psychological or medical treatment [OR = 1.8 (1.4-2.4)] and any severe role impairment [OR = 2.4 (1.7-3.3)]. Adding any severe role impairment to the diagnostic criteria decreased the 12-month prevalence of IGD to 0.7%.


Prevalence of DSM-5 IGD and the performance of diagnostic criteria in this Mexican sample were within the bounds of what is reported elsewhere. Importantly, about one in every seven students with IGD showed levels of impairment that would qualify them for treatment under DSM-5.

KEYWORDS: DSM-5; Mexico; college students; epidemiology; gaming

PMID: 31830812

DOI: 10.1556/2006.8.2019.62