Internet gaming youth not more prone to psychiatric disorders

October 01, 2020

Many of our children play a lot of computer games. Some youth play so much and develop such big problems that a new diagnosis called Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has been proposed.

Symptoms of a gaming disorder include that it has an impact on school, work or friendships, that we continue to play even though we know it creates problems, that we are unable to stop or reduce the activity, we lose interest in other activities and that we lie about how much we play.

Previous findings show that excessive screen use among young children can lead to them becoming less able to recognize emotions. But some children also experience valuable mastery through gaming, and many find friendship and other social togetherness.

A research group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has looked at possible connections between children with symptoms of IGD and mental health problems. The results may reassure parents who might have let their children play more digital games during the a period marked by the coronavirus and home office.

"We've found no connection between IGD and psychiatric problems, other than that 10- and 12-year-olds who had more symptoms of gaming addiction developed fewer symptoms of anxiety two years later, when they were 12 and 14 years old," says Beate Wold Hygen.

She is a postdoctoral fellow at NTNU's Department of Psychology and the first author of a new article in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Yes, children actually develop fewer symptoms of anxiety, not more.

This finding may could be related to the social aspects of the game, or that gaming is a distraction that causes the children to ruminate less than others.

No inverse relationship has been found.

"We looked at anxiety, depression, ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. But children who had more symptoms of these mental disorders were not more susceptible to gaming addiction," says Hygen.

"When psychiatric difficulties and IGD occur at the same time, which they do, they must be explained by other shared underlying factors," says Professor Lars Wichstrøm, who is a co-author of the work and leads the research project on which the study is based.

The researchers are not sure exactly what factors come into play, but genes that affect both the tendency to become addicted, including to internet gaming, and having other mental health problems may play a role.

The figures are based on interviews with 702 children from the Trondheim Early Secure Study. These are children who have been followed up with questionnaires, tests, in-depth interviews and observation every other year since they were four years old. Today they are 16-17 years old.
-end-
Source: The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. The co?occurrence between symptoms of internet gaming disorder and psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence: prospective relationships or common causes? Beate Wold Hygen, V?ra Skalická, Frode Stenseng, Jay Belsky, Silje Steinsbekk, Lars Wichstrøm. First published: 05 July 2020.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Related Mental Disorders Articles from Brightsurf:

Mental health disorders among university students confined during COVID-19
University students in France who experienced quarantine during COVID-19 were surveyed to assess how common were mental health issues and to identify factors associated with these disorders.

Care for veterans with substance use and mental health disorders needs improvement
While the availability of services for veterans has expanded in recent years, many post-9/11 veterans do not receive appropriate care for their co-occurring substance use and mental health problems, according to a new study.

Infant sleep problems can signal mental disorders in adolescents -- Study
Specific sleep problems among babies and very young children can be linked to mental disorders in adolescents, a new study has found.

Mental disorders in the family affects the treatment of people with bipolar disorder
Patients with bipolar disorder who have multiple family members with severe mental disorders, are more difficult to treat and require more medicine.

Researchers call for new approach to some mental disorders
Depression, anxiety and PTSD might not be disorders at all, according to a recent paper by Washington State University biological anthropologists.

Mapping health risks for people with mental disorders
Researchers now have the ability to map the risks of general medical conditions such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes and cancer for people with mental disorders.

Spinal cord injury increases risk for mental health disorders
A new study finds adults with traumatic spinal cord injury are at an increased risk of developing mental health disorders and secondary chronic diseases compared to adults without the condition.

Maternal hypertensive disorders may lead to mental health disorders in children
Hypertensive pregnancy disorders, especially preeclampsia -- may increase the risk of psychological development disorders and behavioral and emotional disorders in children.

Critically injured soldiers have high rates of mental health disorders
U.S. combat soldiers who suffered a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more likely than soldiers with other serious injuries to experience a range of mental health disorders, according to a new retrospective study by University of Massachusetts Amherst health services researchers.

Brain imaging may improve diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders
Brain imaging may one day be used to help diagnose mental health disorders--including depression and anxiety--with greater accuracy, according to a new study conducted in a large sample of youth at the University of Pennsylvania and led by Antonia Kaczkurkin, PhD and Theodore Satterthwaite, MD.

Read More: Mental Disorders News and Mental Disorders Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.