Internet gaming disorder and psychosocial well-being: a longitudinal study of older-aged adolescents and emerging adults
Teng, Z and Pontes, HM and Nie, Q and Xiang, G and Griffiths, MD and Guo, C, Internet gaming disorder and psychosocial well-being: a longitudinal study of older-aged adolescents and emerging adults, Addictive Behaviors, 110 Article 106530. ISSN 0306-4603 (2020) [Refereed Article]
The American Psychiatric Association defined Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) within Section III of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a tentative disorder requiring further research. Although cross-sectional studies have suggested that IGD is closely associated with poorer psychosocial well-being, longitudinal studies scarce, and whether poorer psychosocial well-being is the cause or effect of IGD is still unclear. To address this issue, a longitudinal study including three-wave data from older-aged adolescents and emerging adults (1,054 first-year university students, age range 17–21 years, 41.2% male) was conducted. Cross-lagged panel models were tested to examine the longitudinal association between IGD and psychosocial well-being. The results suggested that IGD negatively affects variables of psychosocial well-being (i.e., self-esteem, social support, and life satisfaction), but not vice versa. The results supported the interpersonal impairment hypothesis, which conceptualizes IGD as a maladaptive response leading to poorer psychosocial well-being. Furthermore, the results also showed that IGD was negatively associated with self-esteem and social support across all three waves with gender differences across these associations and larger correlations for males in comparison to females. In conclusion, the study findings highlight that the classification of IGD as a mental health disorder is appropriate, and that the condition is a risk factor for impaired psychosocial well-being in late adolescence and early adulthood.