Prevalence of Internet Gaming Disorder among Korean Adolescents and Associations with Non-psychotic Psychological Symptoms, and Physical Aggression (2016)

Am J Health Behav. 2016 Nov;40(6):705-716.

Yu H1, Cho J2.



We examined the prevalence rates of Internet gaming disorder among South Korean middle school students, the dominant symptoms of Internet gaming disorder, and the interrelationships between such disorder and non-psychotic psychological symptoms (ie, anxiety, depression, and impulsiveness) and with physical aggression.


Data were collected from a national sample of 2024 students (70.3% gamers; 50.6% boys). Gaming disorder and prevalent symptoms were measured by the 9 diagnostic criteria proposed in DSM-5.


Our results showed 5.9% of the sample (boys 10.4%, girls 1.2%) was classified as adolescents with gaming disorder. Meanwhile, 8% (boys 14.2%, girls 5.9%) of the sample was found to be at high risk of gaming disorder. The prevalent symptoms were mood modification, behavioral salience, conflict, withdrawal, and relapse, in that order. A total of 9.2%, 15.1%, and 10.9% of the adolescents with gaming disorder had non-psychotic psychological anxiety, depression, and impulsiveness symptoms, respectively. Nearly 11% of students with Internet gaming disorder had 2 non-psychotic psychological symptoms or more.


These results provide supportive empirical evidence that Internet gaming disorder can lead to severe distress and that it can be associated with comorbid symptoms that are relevant to development or continuance of the gaming disorder.

PMID: 27779939

DOI: 10.5993/AJHB.40.6.3