Laxer Clinical Criteria for Gaming Disorder May Hinder Future Efforts to Devise an Efficient Diagnostic Approach: A Tree-Based Model Study (2019)

J Clin Med. 2019 Oct 18;8(10). pii: E1730. doi: 10.3390/jcm8101730.

Pontes HM1,2, Schivinski B3,4, Brzozowska-Woś M5, Stavropoulos V6,7.


Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has been recognized in May 2013 and can be evaluated using the criteria developed by American Psychiatric Association (APA). The present study investigated the role each IGD criteria plays in diagnosing disordered gaming. A total of 3,377 participants (mean age 20 years, SD = 4.3 years) participated in the study. The data collected was scrutinized to detect patterns of IGD using Conditional Inference Tree (Ctree), a sophisticated machine algorithm. Participants provided basic sociodemographic information and completed the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short-Form (IGDS9-SF). The results identified classes of IGD-related symptoms, indicating that endorsing ‘withdrawal’ and ‘loss of control’ increases the probability of disordered gaming by 77.77% while endorsement of ‘withdrawal’, ‘loss of control’ and ‘negative consequences’ increases the probability of disordered gaming by 26.66%. Moreover, lack of endorsement of ‘withdrawal’ and endorsement of ‘preoccupation’ increases the likelihood of disordered gaming by 7.14%. Taken together, the results obtained illustrate that different IGD criteria can present with different clinical weighing as unique diagnostic roles in the development of disordered gaming can be evidenced by each criterion. Moreover, the present findings help inform future revisions of diagnostic manuals and helps enhancing the assessment of IGD in the future. Additional research and clinical implications are discussed.

KEYWORDS:  behavioral addictions; gaming addiction; internet gaming disorder; problematic gaming; video games

PMID: 31635431

DOI: 10.3390/jcm8101730