Video game addiction in emerging adulthood: Cross-sectional evidence of pathology in video game addicts as compared to matched healthy controls
Video game addiction, Pathological gaming, Emerging adults, Internet gaming addiction
Video games have become a normative part of Western culture. For most video game players, video games are a harmless way to relive stress, socialize with peers, and spend time. Parents of adolescents and young adults frequently joke that their kids are "addicted" to video games, but this is hyperbole for most youth. However, there is evidence that for some individuals, video game play can interfere with social functioning and well-being. There is no universal definition of addiction, but Orford (2001) defined addiction as "a combination of operant reward, usually in the form of some powerful emotional change, plus wide cue elicitation of conditioned responses that assists consumption in one way or the other, operating within diverse social contexts, between them constitute a powerful set of processes responsible for the amplification of a small and unremarkable liking into a strong and potentially troublesome attachment (p.22)." Hellman et al. (2013) further elaborate that a reward in this context can be anything that is pleasurable, and does not limit only to substances, but can include rewards like gambling and video games. Therefore, addiction need not be limited only to substances, but can include any external stimuli that creates a "strong and potentially troublesome attachment." Video game use becomes pathological when this strong attachment damages multiple levels of functioning such as family life, social functioning, school or work performance, or psychological functioning (Gentile et al., 2011).
Original Publication Citation
Stockdale, L. & Coyne, S. M. (2018). Video game addiction in emerging adulthood: Cross-sectional evidence of pathology in video game addicts as compared to matched healthy controls. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, 265-272.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Stockdale, Laura Ann and Coyne, Sarah, "Video game addiction in emerging adulthood: Cross-sectional evidence of pathology in video game addicts as compared to matched healthy controls" (2018). All Faculty Publications. 2301.
Journal of Affective Disorders
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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