Addict Behav. 2015 Nov 26. pii: S0306-4603(15)30056-3. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.11.005.
The inclusion of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) in the DSM-5 (Section 3) has given rise to much scholarly debate regarding the proposed criteria and their operationalization. The present study’s aim was threefold: to (i) develop and validate a brief psychometric instrument (Ten-Item Internet Gaming Disorder Test; IGDT-10) to assess IGD using definitions suggested in DSM-5, (ii) contribute to ongoing debate regards the usefulness and validity of each of the nine IGD criteria (using Item Response Theory [IRT]), and (iii) investigate the cut-off threshold suggested in the DSM-5.
An online gamer sample of 4887 gamers (age range 14-64years, mean age 22.2years [SD=6.4], 92.5% male) was collected through Facebook and a gaming-related website with the cooperation of a popular Hungarian gaming magazine. A shopping voucher of approx. 300 Euros was drawn between participants to boost participation (i.e., lottery incentive). Confirmatory factor analysis and a structural regression model were used to test the psychometric properties of the IGDT-10 and IRT analysis was conducted to test the measurement performance of the nine IGD criteria. Finally, Latent Class Analysis along with sensitivity and specificity analysis were used to investigate the cut-off threshold proposed in the DSM-5.
Analysis supported IGDT-10’s validity, reliability, and suitability to be used in future research. Findings of the IRT analysis suggest IGD is manifested through a different set of symptoms depending on the level of severity of the disorder. More specifically, “continuation”, “preoccupation”, “negative consequences” and “escape” were associated with lower severity of IGD, while “tolerance”, “loss of control”, “giving up other activities” and “deception” criteria were associated with more severe levels. “Preoccupation” and “escape” provided very little information to the estimation IGD severity. Finally, the DSM-5 suggested threshold appeared to be supported by our statistical analyses.
IGDT-10 is a valid and reliable instrument to assess IGD as proposed in the DSM-5. Apparently the nine criteria do not explain IGD in the same way, suggesting that additional studies are needed to assess the characteristics and intricacies of each criterion and how they account to explain IGD.