Relationship of Internet gaming disorder with dissociative experience in Italian university students (2018)

Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2018 Jun 15;17:28. doi: 10.1186/s12991-018-0198-y. eCollection 2018.

De Pasquale C1, Dinaro C2, Sciacca F1.


The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to investigate the prevalence of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) among Italian university students and (b) to explore the associations between the former and dissociative phenomena. The sample included 221 college students, 93 males and 128 females, aged between 18 and 25 (M = 21.56; SD = 1.42). They were asked to state their favourite games choice and were administered a demographic questionnaire, the APA symptom checklist based on the diagnostic criteria of IGD in the DSM-5, the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale Short Form (IGD9-SF) and the Italian version of dissociative experience scale for adolescents and young adults. The different game types used are distributed as follows: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (30%), flash games (26%), multiplayer games (24%), and online gambling (23%). The results of the study showed a high incidence of Internet gaming disorder risk in college students (84.61%). Specifically, our data confirmed the literature on the incidence of the male gender bias among online players (M = 28.034; SD = 2.213). Thirty-three subjects (31 male and 2 female) on 221 (14.9%) matched five or more criteria for clinical diagnosis of IGD. The data showed a positive correlation between Internet gaming disorder risk and some dissociative experiences: depersonalisation and derealisation (AbII/item6 r = .311; DD/item6 r = .322); absorption and imaginative involvement (AbII/item2 r = .319; AbII/item8 r = .403) and passive influence (PI/item3 r = .304; PI/item4 r = .366; PI/item9 r = .386). This study shedded light on psychopathological aspects that preceded the spread of IGD and encourages the implementation of a programmatic plan of preventative interventions by Italian public institutions, to prevent and tame the spreading of such addictive behaviours.

KEYWORDS: Addiction; Dissociative experience; Internet gaming disorder; Young adults

PMID: 29983724

PMCID: PMC6003028

DOI: 10.1186/s12991-018-0198-y