The Relationship between Impulsivity and Internet Gaming Disorder in Young Adults: Mediating Effects of Interpersonal Relationships and Depression (2018)

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Mar 6;15(3). pii: E458. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15030458.

Ryu H1, Lee JY2, Choi A3, Park S4, Kim DJ5, Choi JS6,7.


Background: This study aimed to explore relationships between impulsivity, interpersonal relationships, depression, and Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) symptoms. Methods: A total of 118 young adults participated in this study: 67 IGD patients who met five or more of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for IGD and 56 healthy controls. We administered questionnaires to assess IGD symptoms (Young’s Internet Addiction Test; Y-IAT), impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale; BIS-11), interpersonal relationship (Relationship Change Scale; RCS), and depression (Beck Depression Inventory; BDI). We used PROCESS macro in SPSS to perform mediation analysis. Results: IGD symptom was positively related to depression and impulsivity, and negatively related to the quality of interpersonal relationships. Mediation analysis revealed full mediation effects of interpersonal relationships and depression on the association between impulsivity and IGD symptoms in the IGD group. Specifically, even after adjusting for gender as a covariate, high impulsivity was associated with greater difficulty with interpersonal relationships; which further affected depression and increased the risk of IGD. Conclusions: These results demonstrate the importance of early intervention in IGD patients, particularly in young adults with high impulsivity. When intervening in adults’ IGD, we should consider not only individual factors (e.g., depression) but also socioenvironmental factors (e.g., interpersonal relationships).

KEYWORDS: depression; impulsivity; internet gaming disorder; interpersonal relationships; serial mediation

PMID: 29509708

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15030458