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Rotterdam, Netherlands

Hellman M.,University of Helsinki | Schoenmakers T.M.,IVO Addiction Research Institute | Schoenmakers T.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | Nordstrom B.R.,University of Pennsylvania | Van Holst R.J.,University of Amsterdam
Addiction Research and Theory

Drawing on explanatory pluralism this cross-disciplinary theoretical study asks whether excessive compulsive online gaming can be called an addiction on the basis of what is known about the disorder. This article discusses the concept of addiction; the social seating of the problems and it reviews, recent scientific literature on criteria used for diagnosing addictions. In addition, contributions by brain science are discussed. The study unfolds different dimensions of the problem and concludes by stating that research indicate that there indeed seems to be a type of problematic online gaming behavior, which bears similarities to such an extent with the essence of the concept and the phenomenon of addiction that it can beneficially lend itself and be compared to it. The authors suggest that this behavioral addiction may differ from drug addictions in magnitude, but not in kind. In addition, the authors find a possible solution for conceptualizing behavioral addictions by a general de-medicalization of the concept of addiction. Copyright © 2013 Informa UK Ltd. Source

Van Rooij A.J.,IVO Addiction Research Institute | Prause N.,University of California at Los Angeles
Journal of Behavioral Addictions

Aims: In the last 5 years a deluge of articles on the topic of Internet addiction (IA) has proposed many candidate symptoms as evidence of this proposed disease. We critically reviewed the current approach to the measurement and identification of this new excessive behavior syndrome. Methods: Three popular models of IA were discussed: Griffith's components model; Young's Internet Addiction Test (IAT); and the criteria by Tao et al. (2010). We selected these models because they are widely cited and propose specific criteria for IA disorder. Our approach is not meant to provide an exhaustive review, but to discuss and critique the most salient trends in the field. Results: The models of Internet addiction share some criteria, including feeling a loss of control over Internet use; ensuing psychological, social, or professional conflict or problems; and preoccupation when not using the Internet. Other criteria inconsistently mentioned include: mood management, tolerance, withdrawal, and craving/anticipation. The models studied here share the assumption that the Internet can produce a qualitative shift to a diseased state in humans. Conclusions: We critically discussed the above criteria and concluded that the evidence base is currently not strong enough to provide support for an Internet addiction disorder. Future research areas are suggested: (1) Focusing on common impaired dimensions, (2) exploring neuroimaging as a model building tool, and (3) identifying shifts in the rewarding aspects of Internet use. Given the lack of consensus on the subject of Internet addiction, a focus on problem behaviors appears warranted. © 2014 Akadémiai Kiadó. Source

Van Rooij A.J.,IVO Addiction Research Institute | Schoenmakers T.M.,IVO Addiction Research Institute | Vermulst A.A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Van Den Eijnden R.J.J.M.,University Utrecht | And 2 more authors.

Aims To provide empirical data-driven identification of a group of addicted online gamers.Design Repeated cross-sectional survey study, comprising a longitudinal cohort, conducted in 2008 and 2009.Setting Secondary schools in the Netherlands.Participants Two large samples of Dutch schoolchildren (aged 13-16 years).Measurements Compulsive internet use scale, weekly hours of online gaming and psychosocial variables.Findings This study confirms the existence of a small group of addicted online gamers (3%), representing about 1.5% of all children aged 13-16 years in the Netherlands. Although these gamers report addiction-like problems, relationships with decreased psychosocial health were less evident.Conclusions The identification of a small group of addicted online gamers supports efforts to develop and validate questionnaire scales aimed at measuring the phenomenon of online video game addiction. The findings contribute to the discussion on the inclusion of non-substance addictions in the proposed unified concept of 'Addiction and Related Disorders' for the DSM-V by providing indirect identification and validation of a group of suspected online video game addicts. © 2010 The Authors, Addiction © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction. Source

Christiansen P.,University of Liverpool | Christiansen P.,IVO Addiction Research Institute | Schoenmakers T.M.,Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies | Schoenmakers T.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Addictive Behaviors

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in attentional bias in addiction, particularly its clinical relevance. Specifically, numerous articles claimed to demonstrate either that (1) attentional bias measured in treatment settings could predict subsequent relapse to substance use, or (2) direct modification of attentional bias reduced substance use and improved treatment outcomes. In this paper, we critically evaluate empirical studies that investigated these issues. We show that the evidence regarding both of these claims is decidedly mixed, and that many of the studies that appear to yield positive findings have serious methodological and statistical limitations. We contend that the available literature suggests that attentional bias for drug cues fluctuates within individuals because it is an output of the underlying motivational state at that moment in time, but there is no convincing evidence that it exerts a causal influence on substance use. Future research should make use of experience sampling methodology to characterise the clinical significance of fluctuations in attentional bias over time. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Van Rooij A.J.,IVO Addiction Research Institute | Schoenmakers T.M.,IVO Addiction Research Institute | Van Den Eijnden R.J.J.M.,University Utrecht | Vermulst A.A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 2 more authors.
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

The study explores the reliability, validity, and measurement invariance of the Video game Addiction Test (VAT). Game-addiction problems are often linked to Internet enabled online games; the VAT has the unique benefit that it is theoretically and empirically linked to Internet addiction. The study used data (n=2,894) from a large-sample paper-and-pencil questionnaire study, conducted in 2009 on secondary schools in Netherlands. Thus, the main source of data was a large sample of schoolchildren (aged 13-16 years). Measurements included the proposed VAT, the Compulsive Internet Use Scale, weekly hours spent on various game types, and several psychosocial variables. The VAT demonstrated excellent reliability, excellent construct validity, a one-factor model fit, and a high degree of measurement invariance across gender, ethnicity, and learning year, indicating that the scale outcomes can be compared across different subgroups with little bias. In summary, the VAT can be helpful in the further study of video game addiction, and it contributes to the debate on possible inclusion of behavioral addictions in the upcoming DSM-V. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

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