Videogame addiction linked to ADHD

Videogame addiction linked to ADHD
Persons with ADHD and psychiatric disorders seemingly have a problematic relationship to videogames and a pattern largely detrimental to health, work, school, and/or social relations than others. Credit: Colourbox/University of Bergen

Young and single men are at risk of being addicted to video games. The addiction indicates an escape from ADHD and psychiatric disorder.

"Video game addiction is more prevalent among younger men, and among those not being in a current relationship, than others," says, Cecilie Schou Andreassen, doctor of psychology and clinical psychologist specialist at Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen (UiB).

Schou Andreassen has carried out a study with more than 20 000 participants who answered questions related to videogame addiction. The study is published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, of the American Psychological Association.

Escape from psychiatric disorders

The study showed that appears to be associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression.

"Excessively engaging in gaming may function as an escape mechanism for, or coping with, underlying in attempt to alleviate unpleasant feelings, and to calm restless bodies", Doctor Andreassen says.

According to Doctor Andreassen, the large study shows some clear tendencies as to which people develop addictive use of .

"The study implies that younger with some of these characteristics could be targeted regarding preventing development of an unhealthy gaming pattern."

Sex difference in addiction

The study also showed that addiction related to videogames and computer activities shows sex differences.

"Men seem generally more likely to become addicted to online gaming, gambling, and cyber-pornography, while women to social media, texting, and online shopping", Schou Andreassen says.

Seven Warning Signs

The study uses seven criteria to identify addiction (developed by Lemmens et al., 2009), where gaming experiences last six months are scored on a scale from Never to Very often:

  • You think about playing a game all day long
  • You spend increasing amounts of time on games
  • You play games to forget about real life
  • Others have unsuccessfully tried to reduce your use
  • You feel bad when you are unable to play
  • You have fights with others (e.g., family, friends) over your time spent on games
  • You neglect other important activities (e.g., school, work, sports) to play games

Scoring high on at least four of the seven items may suggest that you are addicted to video gaming associated with impaired health, work, school and/or social relations.

"However, most people have a relaxed relationship to video games and fairly good control,"Doctor Cecilie Schou Andreassen highlights.


Explore further

Addicted to shopping?

More information: Cecilie Schou Andreassen et al, The relationship between addictive use of social media and video games and symptoms of psychiatric disorders: A large-scale cross-sectional study., Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (2016). DOI: 10.1037/adb0000160
Citation: Videogame addiction linked to ADHD (2016, April 25) retrieved 11 December 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-videogame-addiction-linked-adhd.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
38 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments