Psychosocial factors mediating the relationship between childhood emotional trauma and internet gaming disorder: a pilot study (2019)

Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2019 Jan 14;10(1):1565031. doi: 10.1080/20008198.2018.1565031.

Kircaburun K1, Griffiths MD2, Billieux J3.


in English, Chinese, Spanish

Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has been related to a wide range of detrimental psychological and health consequences. The purpose of the present pilot study was to test the direct and indirect relationships between IGD and emotional trauma, body image dissatisfaction, social anxiety, loneliness, depression, and self-esteem. A total of 242 online gamers completed a survey comprising a comprehensive battery of psychometric self-report scales concerning aforementioned variables. Results indicated that IGD was significantly correlated with all the variables except for body image dissatisfaction. Path analysis indicated an indirect relationship between childhood emotional trauma and IGD through depressive symptoms, while adjusting for gender, age, and number of hours gaming. The findings of the present study indicate that online gamers with a history of emotional abuse and/or neglect have higher levels of depressive symptoms, and that depressive symptoms are important risk factors of IGD.

KEYWORDS: IGD; Internet gaming disorder; body image; childhood trauma; depression; gaming addiction; loneliness; self-esteem; social anxiety; • Depression was directly associated with internet gaming disorder (IGD). • Emotional trauma was indirectly associated with IGD via depression. • Number of hours spent gaming was associated with IGD. • Body image dissatisfaction was not associated with IGD. • Self-esteem, loneliness, and social anxiety were not associated with IGD.

PMID: 30693081

PMCID: PMC6338260

DOI: 10.1080/20008198.2018.1565031

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