Advertisement

Advertisement

Online Gaming Addiction and Basic Psychological Needs Among Adolescents: The Mediating Roles of Meaning in Life and Responsibility

  • Original Article
  • Open access
  • Published: 10 January 2023

Cite this article

You have full access to this open access article

  • Alican Kaya   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2933-0161 1 ,
  • Nuri Türk   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-7059-9528 2 ,
  • Hasan Batmaz   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5979-1586 3 &
  • Mark D. Griffiths   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-8880-6524 4  

44k Accesses

5 Citations

3 Altmetric

Explore all metrics

Individuals whose basic needs are naturally satisfied are much less dependent on their environment and more autonomous. Basic psychological needs (i.e., the general motivators of human actions) are significant predictors of online gaming addiction. Moreover, it has been posited that meaning and responsibility in life are at the center of life from an existential point of view. Therefore, a hypothetical model was tested to examine the relationships between basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, relatedness), online gaming addiction, responsibility, and meaning in life. Data were collected from a sample of 546 participants. Mediation analysis was conducted, and the results indicated that basic psychological needs, online gaming addiction, responsibility, and meaning in life had significant negative and positive relationships. The findings indicated that responsibility and meaning in life had a serial mediating effect in the relationship between basic psychological needs and online gaming addiction. The findings also showed that the inverse relationship between online gaming addiction and basic psychological needs was at least partially explained by meaning in life and responsibility. The results of the present study are of great importance and suggest that interventions to satisfy the basic psychological needs of adolescents may help prevent online gaming addiction.

Similar content being viewed by others

research paper about online games addiction pdf

How the Dark Triad associated with internet gaming disorder? The serial mediation of basic psychological needs satisfaction and negative coping styles

Xuan Xu, Ling-feng Gao, … Zong-kui Zhou

research paper about online games addiction pdf

The Mechanism Underlying the Effect of Actual-Ideal Self-Discrepancy on Internet Gaming Addiction: a Moderated Mediation Model

Yongxin Li, Yongzhan Li & Gloria Castaño

research paper about online games addiction pdf

Examining the psychometric properties of the electronic gaming motives questionnaire in a sample of Canadian adults: a replication and extension study

Sophie G. Coelho, Beatriz Aguiar, … Matthew T. Keough

Avoid common mistakes on your manuscript.

Introduction

Technological addictions have become an area of increasing research interest and are conceptualized as non-chemical (i.e., behavioral) addictions (Kuss & Billieux, 2017 ). Moreover, they can be engaged in actively or passively (Widyanto & Griffiths, 2006 ). For example, television addiction is a passive technological addiction, whereas smartphone addiction and Internet addiction are active technological addictions (Griffiths, 2017 ). Online addictions have increased rapidly due to the increased use of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Furthermore, overuse of the Internet has been conceptualized in a number of different ways, including problematic Internet use (Aboujaoude et al., 2006 ; Young, 2009 ), excessive Internet use (Choi et al., 2009 ; Lee et al., 2008 ), and Internet addiction (Griffiths, 2017 ) with some considering it to be an impulsive disorder (Young & Rodgers, 2009 ). In addition, online gaming addiction, which is another addiction associated with the Internet, is defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2013 ) as the consistent and prolonged use of the Internet to play videogames, frequently with other gamers, that causes disruption and clinically impairs several aspects of a person’s life (e.g., personal relationships, occupation and/or education). Key characteristics of online gaming addiction are individuals obsessively playing online videogames to the point of neglecting everything else in their lives, which leads to social and/or psychological disorders in such individuals (Ates et al., 2018 ; Batmaz & Çelik, 2021 ).

Previous studies have indicated various variables that predict and/or are associated with gaming addiction, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety and depression (Andreassen et al., 2016 ), social anxiety (Karaca et al., 2020 ), low self-esteem (Kim et al., 2022 ), inter-personal competence (Lee et al., 2019 ), relationship problems and relationship problems, and hostile family environment (Sela et al., 2020 ). In addition, social skill deficits (Mun & Lee, 2022 ), social and psychological isolation (Young, 2009 ), perceived stress (Rajab et al., 2020 ), suicidality (Erevik et al., 2022 ), and aggressive behaviors (McInroy & Mishna, 2017 ) have been reported among individuals who develop gaming addiction.

Although online gaming meets the various needs of individuals, when the behavior turns into an addiction, it leads to adverse effects on individuals, especially adolescents, where it can impair their mental health (Batmaz et al., 2020 ; Purwaningsih & Nurmala, 2021 ). Among adolescents, online gaming addiction has been reported to disrupt mental health, increase depression, anxiety, and psychoticism, disrupt family relationships (De Pasquale et al., 2020 ), lower quality of life (Beranuy et al., 2020 ), increase social phobia (Wei et al., 2012 ), lower school performance, and improve sleep deprivation (Chamarro et al., 2020 ; Király et al., 2015 ). In short, online gaming addiction negatively affects adolescents’ lives in different areas (Griffiths, 2022 ; Haberlin & Atkin, 2022 ). Therefore, research is needed to delineate the causes of online gaming addiction, eliminate its adverse effects, and implement necessary treatment.

Although many studies have been conducted examining online game addiction among adolescents (see Rosendo-Rios et al., 2022 ) for a recent review of studies), there are few studies examining the relationship between basic psychological needs and online game addiction (Bekir & Celik, 2019 ). In the present study, it is posited that basic psychological needs could be predictors due to the relationship with gaming disorders and problematic gaming (Allen & Anderson, 2018 ; Liu et al., 2021 ; Yu et al., 2015 ). When basic psychological needs are not met, it pushes individuals to exhibit maladaptive behavioral reactions (i.e., online gaming addiction) (Bekir & Çelik, 2019 ). In addition, few studies have addressed the relationship between responsibility and meaning in life and online game addiction (Arslan, 2021 ; Kaya, 2021 ). Moreover, no study has ever examined the mediating role of responsibility and meaning in life in the relationship between basic psychological needs and online game addiction. For these reasons, the present study examined the mediating roles of responsibility and meaning in life in explaining the relationship between basic psychological needs and online game addiction.

Online Gaming Addiction and Basic Psychological Needs

Self-determination theory is a well-established motivational theory comprising six mini-theories (Ryan & Deci, 2017 ). One of these mini-theories is the Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT), which claims that the satisfaction of basic psychological needs is associated with better health and greater psychological well-being (Ryan & Deci, 2000 ). Basic psychological needs are requirements for psychological development, integrity, and well-being (Deci & Ryan, 2000 ). In contrast to the often-frustrating real world, videogames are designed to satisfy all three psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness) (Rigby & Ryan, 2011 ). Satisfaction of the needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness can explain large amounts of the variance in game enjoyment (Rigby & Ryan, 2011 ; Tamborini et al., 2011 ). Online gaming can fulfill the (i) need for relatedness by directing players to social relationships with real or fictional characters, (ii) need for autonomy by giving them management and control within the game, and (iii) need for competence by making them feel successful in playing challenging videogames (Allen & Anderson, 2018 ).

Individuals addicted to videogames need novelty seeking, socialization, competition, and/or entertainment (Hussain et al., 2012 ; Larrieu et al., 2022 ). Studies have shown that gaming addiction is related to basic needs (Billieux et al., 2015 ) and psychological needs such as success, independence, fun, and respect (Herodotou et al., 2012 ). The increasing demand for playing videogames shows that adolescents try to satisfy some of their psychological needs via the Internet (Shen et al., 2013 ; Turan, 2021 ). One longitudinal study found that problematic online gaming and satisfaction of basic psychological needs were positively associated (Yu et al., 2015 ). It has also been reported that adolescents whose basic psychological needs were not met and whose perceived social support was low had high levels of gaming addiction (Yıldırım & Zeren, 2021 ). In this context, some studies claim that online games are tools for satisfying basic psychological needs (Oliver et al., 2016 ). However, studies have shown that the low level of basic psychological need satisfaction in real life can be met with high need satisfaction in online gaming, which leads to addiction for a small minority (Kardefelt-Winther, 2014 ; Rigby & Ryan, 2017 ; Wu et al., 2013 ). Based on the aforementioned literature, it was expected that there would be a significant negative relationship between basic psychological needs derived from real-life and online gaming addiction.

Online Gaming Addiction and Meaning in Life

The debate about the meaning in life has been ongoing for years (Yalom, 2020 ). Because there are many definitions of meaning in life, making a standard definition of meaning in life has been difficult (King & Hicks, 2021 ; Park, 2010 ). Meaning in life is a multifaceted construct conceptualized in various ways that address the value and purpose of life, meaningful life goals, and sometimes spirituality (Jim et al., 2006 ). According to Ryff ( 1989 ), meaning in life is a sign of a sense of direction, goals, and well-being. Frankl ( 2009 ) states that meaning in life differs from individual to individual, day to day, and hour to hour. Many studies have been conducted regarding meaning in life and concepts in the literature. For instance, some of these studies assert that meaning in life increases happiness (Debats et al., 1993 ) and life satisfaction (Yıkılmaz & Demir Güdül, 2015 ) and that the presence of meaning in life positively affects psychological health (Bailey & Phillips, 2016 ) and has a high level of meaning that can lower the incidence of depression (Mascaro & Rosen, 2005 ).

Similar to the aforementioned studies, adolescents’ having meaning in life can protect them from problematic behaviors such as substance abuse and eating disorders (Brassai et al., 2011 ; Shek et al., 2019 ). Adolescence is a period of seeking identity (Erikson, 1968 ) and decision-making (Marcia, 1980 ). Steger et al., ( 2006 ) pointed out that adolescents’ experience of seeking meaning in life or having a meaning in life may be determinative for successful identity development. However, considering that questioning the meaning in life results from the search for identity, it could be speculated that adolescents who constantly play online videogames will be far from such a search. Although studies have shown that adolescents search for identity in while online gaming (Monacis et al., 2017 ; Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011 ; Tanhan & Özlem, 2015 ), it has been reported that excessive online gaming can also make this exploration more maladaptive, and this may lead to online gaming addiction (King & Delfabbro, 2014 ; Kokkini et al., 2022 ). One study reported that as gaming addiction decreases among adolescents, the level of meaning in life increases (Kaya, 2021 ). In general, it is expected in the present study that the existence of meaning in life in among adolescents will reduce online gaming addiction.

Online Gaming Addiction and Responsibility

One of the characteristic features of online gaming addiction is that individuals spend their time playing online games by procrastinating and/or not doing their daily work (Thatcheret al., 2008 ). According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria, one criterion for Internet gaming disorder is that individuals continue to play online games despite being aware of psychosocial problems (American Psychiatric Association, 2013 ). Here, individuals fail to engage in important day-to-day responsibilities and play online games instead. Similarly, it has been shown that online gaming addicts jeopardize or lose their job, education, and/or career opportunities to play online games (Kardefelt-Winther, 2014 ). Time spent playing games instead of engaging in life’s more important tasks can be viewed as a lack of responsibility by individuals themselves, their families, and/or friends (Wartberg et al., 2017 ; Zhang et al., 2019 ).

Responsibility consists of three elements: accountability, liability, and imputability (Robinson, 2009 ). Imputability refers to individuals being responsible for their actions and decisions, accountability refers to fulfilling contractual expectations, and liability refers to assuming a moral responsibility without a contract (Holdorf & Greenwald, 2018 ). The concept of responsibility therapy is defined as the ability of individuals to meet their own needs while allowing others around them to meet their needs (Corey, 2015 ). Being conscious of responsibility means that individuals are aware of themselves and their feelings, thoughts, and pain (Yalom, 2020 ). Dökmen ( 2019 ) defines it as a responsibility to accept the consequences on others of what an individual does or does not do based on his thoughts.

In addition, it is discussed in the literature under two dimensions: emotion (Berkowitz & Daniels, 1963 ; Özen, 2013 ) and behavior (Glasser, 2005 ; Taylı, 2006 ). Individuals with a sense of responsibility have characteristics such as acting with awareness of their own and others’ rights, respecting others, and attempting to fulfill their responsibilities (Özen, 2011 ; Yough et al., 2022 ). On the other hand, individuals who do not have a sense of responsibility make themselves and others feel worthless while living without a plan or program (Cüceloğlu, 2015 ). Studies have shown that a low sense of responsibility can lead to aggression, lying, and avoidance of responsibility, while a high level of responsibility can trigger perfectionism, leading to anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorders (Taylı, 2013 ; Wang et al., 2022 ).

The behavior of responsibility, the second sub-dimension of responsibility (Yalom, 2020 ), means that individuals can take responsibility by bearing the consequences of their behavior without attributing it to someone else (Douglass, 2001 ; Shahzadi et al., 2022 ). It has a function that improves positive activities and prevents harmful activities (Kesici, 2018 ). For example, individuals who act responsibly are respected by society and avoid punishment (Douglass, 2001 ). On the other hand, during adolescence, when serious responsibilities begin to be undertaken, a minority of individuals may move away from social life due to gaming addiction. Because of this situation, other people in the individual’s social life (e.g., family and friends) become unimportant to adolescents with low awareness of responsibility. Recent studies have observed that adolescents who excessively play videogames have difficulty fulfilling their responsibilities (Dinçer & Kolan, 2020 ; Doğan & Pamuk, 2022 ). In the present study, it was expected that adolescents with higher levels of responsibility would be less addicted to online gaming (i.e., an inverse relationship).

Basic Psychological Needs, Meaning in Life, Responsibility, and Online Game Addiction

Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT) focuses on the satisfaction and frustration of psychological needs and argues that these needs significantly impact individuals’ psychological health and well-being (Ryan & Deci, 2000 ). Lack of fulfillment of basic psychological needs leads to negative consequences (e.g., depression, stress, and addiction) (Cantarero et al., 2021 ; Levine et al., 2022 ; Orkibi & Ronen, 2017 ; Xiao & Zheng, 2022 ). However, satisfying these needs is associated with positive outcomes such as general self-efficacy (İhsan et al., 2011 ), mental resilience (Kilinç & Gürer, 2019 ), subjective well-being (Akbağ & Ümmet, 2018 ), and obtaining meaning in life (Çelik & Gazioğlu, 2017 ). Furthermore, Weinstein et al. ( 2012 ) suggested that the search for meaning increased significantly when these needs were satisfied. Individuals whose needs are fulfilled are more prone to seek meaning in their life and, therefore, to experience meaning in their life, whereas individuals whose needs are not fulfilled experience a sense of meaninglessness (Eakman, 2013 ). According to Steger ( 2006 ), although individuals continue to search for meaning in one area of their lives, they may have meaning in a different area of their life. Meaning in life is defined as the purpose and importance of the life that individuals derive from their experiences (Baumeister & Vohs, 2002 ; Steger et al., 2006 ). Frankl ( 1969 ) posited that to achieve the meaning of life, an individual must take responsibility for realizing their potential, even at a young age. Therefore, a meaningful life requires individuals taking responsibility for themselves and others.

Responsibility refers to the individual’s sense of duty toward family, friends, and society (Geçtan, 2006 ), and can be examined in personal and social dimensions (Arslan & Wong, 2022 ). Personal responsibility means that an individual is accountable to themselves and to the needs or well-being of others (Ruyter, 2002 ). It also emphasizes self-responsibility by representing the individual’s behaviors and choices that can affect themselves and others (Mergler & Shield, 2016 ). Social responsibility relates to values that support individuals’ moral and prosocial behavior (Wray-Lake & Syvertsen, 2011 ). It includes decisions and actions that benefit others and society (Martins et al., 2015 ). Moreover, it is an important source of support in strengthening individuals’ mental health and improving their life skills (Martins et al., 2017 ) as well as coping with addictions (Amini et al., 2020 ). Therefore, individuals’ personal and social responsibility can protect them against negative situations such as developing addictions (e.g., online gaming addiction) (Chiou & Wan, 2007 ).

Online games allow individuals to meet other players, have fun, achieve status, and obtain financial benefits (Ballabio et al., 2017 ; Columb et al., 2022 ). In addition, escaping from the problems of real life, even temporarily, and achieving relaxation are among the benefits that individuals gain through gaming (Yee, 2006 ). Consequently, online gaming can lead individuals to play online games frequently and for long periods of time, which in turn can lead to the risk of addiction (Luciana, 2010 ; Sachdeva & Verma, 2015 ). The 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) characterized gaming disorder as a repetitive or persistent pattern of gaming behavior (World Health Organization, 2019 ). Individuals that are affected by online gaming addiction have also been reported to experience problems with interpersonal relationships (Wongpakaran et al., 2021 ), occupation (Lelonek-Kuleta et al., 2021 ), and health (Chan et al., 2022 ). As such, online gaming addiction can lead to situations that threaten the lives and functionality of individuals through the process and its consequences.

The Present Study

The present study was framed according to self-determination and existentialist positive psychology theories. Self-determination theory (SDT) suggests that the non-satisfaction or inhibition of basic psychological needs can lead to negative consequences (i.e., online gaming addiction). In addition, it emphasizes that behaviors emerge from the individual’s beliefs, meaning, and value judgments rather than external factors (i.e., social norms and group pressure). According to the SDT, need (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) predicts meaning in life (Eakman, 2013 ). Moreover, in a longitudinal study based on SDT, individuals whose basic psychological needs were fulfilled had increased meaning in life (Zhang et al., 2022 ). In addition, the existentialist theory of positive psychology suggests that the meaning in life, which individuals create themselves, can be sustained through responsibility. Individuals having responsibility can also enable them to lead a meaningful life (Arslan & Yıldırım, 2021 ; Wong, 2019 ). According to Wong ( 2010 ), meaning consists of the components of purpose, understanding, responsibility, and enjoyment (PURE). In addition to responsibility being one of the basic concepts that constitute meaning, the search for meaning in life continues intensely during adolescence (Steger, 2012 ). This is especially the case for adolescents who begin to question people and the world deeply, having a meaningful life can protect them from behavioral addictions (Qiu et al., 2022 ; Zhao et al., 2020 ). Considering the role of responsibility and meaning in the life of adolescents, it is important to examine online game addiction, which may be affected by basic psychological needs. Therefore, a serial mediation model was determined based on the assumptions of self-determination and existential positive psychotherapy theory.

In addition to the aforementioned theoretical framework, studies have shown that unfulfilled basic psychological needs are predictors of online gaming addiction (Allen & Anderson, 2018 ; Liang et al., 2021 ; Mills & Allen, 2020 ; Yu et al., 2015 ). However, studies conducted with adolescents have found a relationship between online gaming addiction and responsibility and meaning in life (Doğan & Pamuk, 2022 ; Kaya, 2021 ). In the present study, which also considers the different dynamics in online gaming addiction, a new model is proposed to examine the relationship between basic psychological needs and online gaming addiction through responsibility and meaning in life. In this context, the present study assessed whether basic psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, relatedness, competence) affect the relationship between online gaming addiction, meaning in life, and responsibility among adolescents. Four research questions were investigated: Do basic psychological needs predict online gaming addiction? (RQ1); Does the level of responsibility have a mediating effect on the relationship between basic psychological needs and online game addiction? (RQ2); Does meaning in life have a mediating effect on the relationship between basic psychological needs and online game addiction? (RQ3); Do responsibility and meaning in life have a serial mediating effect on the relationship between basic psychological needs and online game addiction? (RQ4).

Participants

Power analysis was performed via the G* Power 3.1.9.7 program to determine the sample size required for the present study. For this purpose, at the conventional significance level of 0.05 and power at 0.80, a small effect size is determined as r = 0.20 (Cohen, 2013 ). As a result of the analysis, it was determined that the required sample size was 395. The sample in the present study comprised 546 individuals (393 females and 153 males). The participants ranged from 15 to 18 years old, with a mean age of 16.25 years (SD ± 0.82). Just below half the sample of the participants were in the 9th grade ( n =252; 46.2%), 156 were in the 10th grade (28.6%), 74 were in the 11th grade (13.6%), and 64 were in the 12th grade (11.7%). Over one-third of the sample self-reported their socioeconomic status (SES) as being low ( n =210; 38.5%), 224 reported it as being medium (41.0%), and 112 reported it as being high (20.5%). Participants stated that they played videogames 3.56 h daily on average (SD ± 3.12). The number of devices they used to play online videogames was 2.09 (SD ± 0.96).

Basic Psychological Needs Scale (BPNS)

The 21-item BPNS (Deci & Ryan, 2000 ; Turkish version: Kesici et al., 2003 ) was used to assess basic psychological needs. The scale consists of three subscales: (i) autonomy (AU), (ii) competence (CMP), and (iii) relatedness (RLT). The scale has 21 items that tap into the satisfaction of autonomy (e.g., “I feel free to decide how to live my life”), relatedness (e.g., “There aren’t many people in my life that I feel close to”), and competence (e.g., “The people I know say that I am successful in what I do”) which are rated on five-point Likert scale from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 5 ( strongly agree ). The higher the score, the greater fulfillment of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In the present study, the scale’s internal reliabilities for the need for autonomy were α=.76, McDonald’s ω= 76; the need for competence were α =.67, McDonald’s ω= 68; and the need for relatedness were α =.82, McDonald’s ω= 83.

Meaning in Life Questionnaire Scale (MILQS)

The 10-item MILQS (Steger et al., 2006 ; Turkish version: Demirbaş-Çelik and İşmen-Gazioğlu, 2015 ) was used to assess meaning in life. Items (e.g., “I’m always looking for my life’s purpose”) are rated on seven-point Likert scale from 1 ( definitely disagree ) to 7 ( definitely agree ). The total score ranges between 10 and 70. The higher the score, the higher the individual’s level of search for meaning in life. In the present study, the internal reliability for the existence of meaning in life was α=.85 and for seeking meaning in life was α=.82. For the overall scale, Cronbach’s α was .67, and McDonald’s ω was .72.

Sense of Responsibility and Behavior Scale (SRBS)

The 18-item SRBS (Özen, 2013 ) was used to assess responsibility. Items (e.g., “I feel responsible for being a member of charitable organizations”) are rated on four-point scale ranging from 1 ( never ) to 4 ( always ). The total score ranges between 18 and 72. The higher the score, the greater the level of responsibility. The SRBS consists of two subscales and each can be used separately. The sense of responsibility sub-dimension was used in the present study. For this sub-dimension, Cronbach’s α was .86, and McDonald’s ω was .87.

Online Game Addiction Scale (OGAS)

The 21-item OGAS (Başol & Kaya, 2018 ) was used to assess online gaming addiction. Items (e.g., “My friendships were damaged/broken due to online games”) are rated on a five-point Likert scale ranging from 1 ( absolutely disagree ) to 5 ( absolutely agree ). The total score ranges between 21 and 105 points. The higher the score, the greater the risk of online gaming addiction. In the present study, Cronbach’s α was .88, and McDonald’s ω was .89.

Procedure and Ethics

Participants were selected from three different high schools in Turkey in the cities of Ağrı, Karabük, and Siirt. The schools were informed about the purpose and duration of the study. The researchers visited the schools, and informed consent forms were distributed. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the legal guardians or parents of the adolescents who volunteered to participate in the study. The purpose of the study was explained to the participants. The eligibility criteria for participation in the study were being an adolescent and being an individual who played (or used to play) one or more online videogames. An online link to the survey was sent to the participants, and each participant was allowed to complete the survey only once. All data were collected using Google Forms in the classroom. Participants were reminded that they might stop answering at any stage of the survey process if they wanted to. Participants were asked not to provide personal information to ensure anonymity and confidentiality. Ethics committee approval of this research was obtained from Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University (reference number: 110), and every research stage was carried out in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

Data Analysis

All analyses were carried out using SPSS version 26, Hayes’ ( 2018 ) PROCESS Macro (version 3), and G* Power 3.1.9.7 programs. Before starting the analysis, the necessary assumptions to perform the analysis were tested. The kurtosis and skewness values were examined to understand whether the assumptions required for the prerequisites of parametric tests were met. The skewness and kurtosis values for a normal distribution have acceptable threshold values if they are ±2 (George, 2010 ). There were no assumption violations in the research data. In addition, it was found that the correlation between the study variables was not high. The correlations ranged between .17 and .63 ( p <.001). The research variables were also examined to ensure there were no multicollinearity issues. When the tolerance, variance inflation factor (VIF), and confidence interval (CI) values were examined, these values were all within acceptable limits. It was determined that VIF was between 1.12 and 1.48, the tolerance value was between .67 and .89, and CI was between 7.21 and 17.88. The limit values required to avoid multicollinearity problems are more than 0.20 for the tolerance value, less than 10 for the VIF value, and less than 30 for the CI value (Albayrak, 2005 ; Büyüköztürk, 2016 ; Şata, 2020 ). Consequently, no multicollinearity problems were detected. Mahalanobis distance values were examined to determine whether there were outliers in the sample. A total of 21 outliers were identified in the dataset. These outliers were excluded from the analysis, meaning the final sample size was 546. SPSS PROCESS macro was utilized to conduct mediation analyses (Hayes, 2018 ). The bootstrapping method was employed with 5000 resampling and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to test the significance of the mediating pathways. An effect is deemed significant if the confidence interval does not contain zero (Preacher & Hayes, 2008 ).

Table 1 shows the correlations between all the main variables in the study (basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, relatedness), online gaming addiction, responsibility, and meaning in life). Pearson correlations indicated that all variables were significantly (albeit moderately and weakly) related.

Serial Multiple Mediational Analyses—Modeling Data

Table 2 , Table 3 , and Table 4 show the results of the serial mediation analysis. First, there was a direct effect of autonomy on online gaming addiction ( β =−.67, p <.001). Moreover, the relationship between competence and online gaming addiction was examined. There was a direct effect of competence on online gaming addiction ( β =−.63, p < . 001). When the relationship between relatedness, the last of the basic psychological needs, and online gaming addiction was examined, there was a direct effect of relatedness on online gaming addiction ( β =−.48, p < . 001). There was also a significant indirect effect of autonomy on online gaming addiction via responsibility (indirect effect=−.12, SE=.02, 95% CI= [−.20, −.06]). Also, the indirect effect of competence on online gaming addiction via responsibility was significant (indirect effect=−.19, SE=.02, 95% CI= [−.31, −.10]). Lastly, the indirect effect of relatedness on online gaming addiction via responsibility was significant (indirect effect=−.17, SE=.01, 95% CI= [−.26, −.10]).

When indirect effects were examined, there was a significant indirect effect of autonomy on online gaming addiction via meaning in life (indirect effect=−.07, SE=.02, 95% CI= [−.14, −.00]). Also, the indirect effect of competence on online gaming addiction via meaning in life was significant (indirect effect=−.11, SE=.02, 95% CI= [−.22, −.00]). Lastly, the indirect effect of relatedness on online gaming addiction via meaning in life was significant (indirect effect=−.05, SE=.01, 95% CI= [−.10, −.01]).

Moreover, the indirect effects of autonomy on online gaming addiction via meaning in life and responsibility were tested. The effect was significant (testing serial multiple mediation; effect=−.04 SE=.01, 95% CI= [−.07, −.01]). Also, the indirect effects of competence on online gaming addiction via meaning in life and responsibility were tested. The effect was significant (testing serial multiple mediation; effect=−.02 SE=.01, 95% CI= [−.04, −.00]). Moreover, the indirect effects of relatedness on online gaming addiction via meaning in life and responsibility were tested. The effect was significant (testing serial multiple mediation; effect=−.02 SE=.01, 95% CI= [−.06, −.01]). In the relationship between basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, relatedness) and online gaming addiction, meaning in life and responsibility had serial mediating effects.

The results indicated that autonomy predicted online gaming addiction. When autonomy was entered as the predictor, it significantly predicted online gaming addiction ( β  = −0.67, t = −5.58,  p  < .001), and accounted for 5.4% of the variance in the model. Figure 1  shows the regression coefficients of the mediation model. The indirect path mediated by responsibility ( β =−.12, 95% CI= [−.20, −.06]) produced a higher change in variance than the indirect path mediated by meaning in life ( β =−.07, 95% CI= [−.14, −.00]) in the relationship between relatedness and online gaming addiction (see Table 2 ). Therefore, responsibility appeared to have a higher effect than meaning in life. Autonomy predicted a higher level of meaning in life. It also predicted a higher level of responsibility. Higher meaning in life was associated with a higher level of responsibility. Higher level of responsibility was associated with lower online gaming addiction. Consequently, the results indicated that the relationship between autonomy and online gaming addiction was partially mediated by meaning in life and responsibility (see Fig. 1 ).

figure 1

The results of the serial multiple mediational models

It was also found that competence predicted online gaming addiction. There was also an indirect relationship between competence and online gaming addiction ( β = −0.64, t = −4.13, p < .001), accounting for 4.7% of the variance in the model. Competence predicted meaning and responsibility in life. The indirect path mediated by responsibility ( β =−.19, 95% CI= [−.31, −.10]) produced a higher change in variance than the indirect path mediated by meaning in life ( β =−.11, 95% CI= [−.22, −.00]) in the relationship between competence and online gaming addiction Furthermore, the relationship between competence and online gaming addiction was mediated by meaning in life and responsibility separately (see Table 3 ). The results also showed that meaning in life and responsibility had serial mediation effects in the relationship between competence and online gaming addiction (see Fig. 2 ).

figure 2

Lastly, the results indicated that relatedness predicted online gaming addiction ( β = −0.48, t = −4.63, p < .001). When relatedness was included in the model, it was found that it accounted for 3.8% of the variance. Moreover, there was also an indirect relationship between relatedness and online gaming addiction. When the indirect effects are examined, the indirect path mediated by responsibility ( β =−.17, 95% CI= [−.26, −.10]) produced a higher change in variance than the indirect path mediated by meaning in life ( β =−.05, 95% CI= [−.10, −.01]) in the relationship between relatedness and online gaming addiction (see Table 4 ). The results suggested that the relationship between relatedness and online gaming addiction was partially mediated by meaning in life and responsibility (see Fig. 3 ).

figure 3

In self-determination theory (SDT), basic psychological needs comprise autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In SDT (Deci & Ryan, 2000 ), basic psychological needs are expressed as essential psychological nutrients for psychological development, integrity, and well-being. Negative psychological consequences occur when requirements are not met, neglected, or prevented (Deci & Ryan, 2000 ). If individuals cannot satisfy a basic need, they engage in activities that give pleasure to individuals momentarily, even if they do not satisfy them (Antunes et al., 2020 ; Deci & Ryan, 2011 ). One of these activities is online gaming, which has an incredibly interactive structure. At the same time, online videogames are appreciated because they create an environment where both the need for relatedness and autonomy are met in the virtual world. Individuals naturally seek new challenges to experience a sense of efficacy even when no external rewards (e.g., money) are earned (Dindar, 2018 ; Matsumoto, 2009 ). The fact that online games have a reward mechanism is suitable for activating feelings of competence among individuals. It is thought that adolescents tend to meet their basic psychological needs (need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness) that they cannot fully meet from their parents or close friends through online gaming.

The present study examined the mediating role of meaning in life and the level of responsibility in the relationship between online gaming addiction and basic psychological needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness) among adolescents. Findings showed that autonomy predicted online game addiction. In other words, autonomy had significant negative effect on online game addiction. Considering that addiction is related to reduced autonomy (Amatem, 2008 ), it can be said that the finding is compatible with the literature. However, there is a study in which there was a negative relationship between the need for autonomy and digital game addiction among adolescents (Dursun and Çapan, 2018 ), which supports the research finding. On the contrary, there is a study in which autonomy and online game addiction had significant positive relationships (Bekir and Çelik, 2019 ). Similarly, it is known that the need for autonomy has a positive relationship with social media addiction (Young-Ju et al., 2018 ) and a negative relationship with Internet addiction (Piri et al., 2018 ; Zeren & Can, 2019 ). These studies, which have obtained different results, make the relationship between the need for autonomy and digital addictions open to discussion but also show that further research is needed.

According to the present study’s findings, it was found that relatedness and competence, as well as autonomy, predicted online gaming addiction. Studies have shown that competence and relatedness have significant relationships with online gaming addiction (Bekir and Çelik, 2019 ; Dursun and Çapan, 2018 ). In addition, research has shown that relatedness has a negative relationship with short-form video addiction (Yang et al., 2022 ), and relatedness dissatisfaction positively correlates with Internet gaming disorder (Hui et al., 2019 ). Moreover, significant negative relationships have been found between competence and smartphone addiction (Gao et al., 2022 ; Sun et al., 2020 ) and Internet addiction (Zeren & Can, 2019 ; Canoğulları, 2014 ). Based on these results concerning technological addictions, it can be said that the literature findings and the results of the present study are compatible.

The tendency of individuals to play online videogames may be to meet their autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs (Ryan et al., 2006 ). In addition, when basic psychological needs are prevented, technological addictions (gaming addiction, smartphone addiction, social network addiction, and Internet addiction) increase (Gugliandolo et al., 2020 ). This may be the compensation for unmet basic psychological needs through addiction (Kuss et al., 2017 ; Mills et al., 2018 ). Therefore, fulfilling basic psychological needs in real life and eliminating the problems that prevent this satisfaction can be a protective factor against online gaming addiction.

Another finding of the present study was that the level of responsibility hads a mediating effect on the relationship between basic psychological needs and online gaming addiction. However, there was a positive and significant relationship between basic psychological needs and responsibility. In contrast, a significant negative relationship was found between responsibility and online gaming addiction. Considering that the components of responsibility (accountability, liability, and imputability) in Robinson’s ( 2009 ) definition appear less important in online environments, it is assumed that adolescents who are addicted to online gaming experience less sense of responsibility. A recent study found that a higher level of responsibility significantly predicted online gaming addiction, whereas a lower level of responsibility negatively affected online gaming addiction (Kesici, 2020 ).

Research conducted by Arslan ( 2021 ) found that secondary school students’ sense of responsibility and behavior had a crucial predictive role in online gaming addiction. Another study reported a significant negative relationship between the students’ videogame addiction and their personal and social responsibility behavior (Dinçer & Kolan, 2020 ). Based on previous studies and the results of the present study, it is thought that increasing the level of responsibility of secondary and high school students would reduce gaming addiction. Adolescents whose level of responsibility increases are also more likely to engage in responsible behavior. This is supported by studies in the literature that physical education and sports play an essential role in helping adolescents acquire responsible behavior (Bayraktar et al., 2016 ; Bugdayci, 2019 ; Tazegül, 2014 ). These studies’ results are considered necessary regarding online gaming addiction because such behavior leads to a sedentary lifestyle (Cómez-Mármol et al., 2017 ).

Findings indicated that meaning in life had a mediating effect on the relationship between basic psychological needs and online gaming addiction. However, there was a positive and significant relationship between basic psychological needs and meaning in life. In contrast, a significant negative relationship between meaning in life and online gaming addiction was found. These findings demonstrate the importance of meaning in life in preventing online gaming addiction among adolescents. A study by Kaya ( 2021 ) on adolescent online gaming addiction found that as the level of online gaming addiction decreased, the level of meaning in life increased. These results suggest that meaning in life affects online gaming addiction as a cause and consequence. Considering that having a meaningful life increases resilience (Batmaz et al., 2021 ; Doğrusever et al., 2022 ), low resilience increases gaming addiction (Canale et al., 2019 ), and gaming addiction reduces happiness (Kaya, 2021 ; Turan, 2021 ), meaning in life seems to be an essential variable that can affect gaming addiction.

What makes the present study unique to the online gaming addiction literature is that responsibility and meaning in life had a serial mediating effect on the relationship between basic psychological needs and online gaming addiction. In other words, the results indicated that the relationship between relatedness, competence, and autonomy with online gaming addiction was partially mediated by meaning in life and responsibility. This finding suggests that the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness increases the level of meaning in life, which in turn reduces online game addiction. Similarly, online game addiction can decrease as the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness increases the level of responsibility. In addition, based on the serial mediation effect, it suggests that meeting the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness can reduce adolescents’ online game addiction by increasing their meaning in life and their level of responsibility.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the present study is the first to examine the mediating role of responsibility and meaning in life between basic psychological needs and online gaming addiction. The associations between these variables provide greater understanding and knowledge concerning online gaming addiction and provide additional insight into the significant causes that underlie playing games online (which may be potential factors in the acquisition, development, and maintenance of online gaming addiction among adolescents). Moreover, fulfilling basic psychological needs appears to increase responsibility and meaning in life and reduce susceptibility to online gaming addiction. The findings enrich the literature because it suggests new protective factors that might prevent adolescents from developing online gaming addiction.

The findings offer relevant practical implications for adolescents, educators, families, private and public health institutions, and mental health professionals to assist them in designing addiction prevention strategies and policies. Results also suggest that basic psychological need satisfaction fulfilment in real life plays an important role in the development and maintenance of online gaming addiction among adolescents. Educators, parents, and adolescents could utilize awareness of the factors contributing to online gaming addiction to help them take preventive measures against it. In addition, if adolescents have high levels of responsibility and meaning in life, it may help reduce online game addiction. Considering the findings, it is recommended that mental health professionals provide training and services that increase the level of responsibility among adolescents and enable them to have meaning in their lives to prevent the onset of online gaming addiction. In addition, private and public health institutions should implement training programs to improve the skills of parents, such as digital parenting, to cope with online gaming addiction. This training should also ensure that parents behave with awareness of the basic psychological needs of adolescents in the family and that they gain thoughts and approaches that can add responsibility and meaning in life.

Limitations

As in all studies, the present study also has some limitations. The first is that the study was cross-sectional. Conducting a cross-sectional study means that causality between the study variables cannot be determined. Second, completing the survey online may have influenced respondents’ responses (with those without home Internet access unable to participate). The online data were also collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, adolescents living in isolated environments may have increased their gaming during this period. This unusual situation may have resulted in a lower sense of responsibility and a less meaningful life. This is consistent with the present study’s findings. Another limitation is that the participants were high school students studying in different schools in Turkish provinces, so the findings are not necessarily generalizable to all Turkish schoolchildren. The sample was also limited because it did not include other education levels, such as primary and secondary schools and children from different geographical and cultural regions in Turkey and/or other countries. Future studies are needed with different age groups, such as primary school, secondary school, university students, adults, and various geographical regions in the sample groups (both in and outside Turkey). Such studies are needed to confirm the findings reported here and should include other research designs (e.g., longitudinal studies to determine causality between variables) and other types of data (e.g., qualitative interview data to attain richer data). Another limitation of the present study was that the participant’s responses were self-report and therefore subject to well-established method biases (e.g., social desirability, memory recall).

The study’s findings indicated that adolescents whose basic psychological needs were met exhibited lower levels of online gaming addiction than adolescents whose basic psychological needs were not met. Consequently, the adverse effects of online gaming addiction may be reduced by interventions that meet adolescents’ basic psychological needs. Similarly, a significant negative relationship was found between responsibility and online gaming addiction. Consequently, it appears that adolescents who fulfill the requirements of individual and social responsibilities (studying, spending time with family, going out with friends, etc.) have greater protection from the more negative effects of online gaming. However, when meaning in life and responsibility are included in the relationship between basic psychological needs and online gaming addiction, the effect of basic psychological needs on online game addiction decreases. This suggests that meaning in life and responsibility have a serial mediating role between basic psychological needs and online gaming addiction.

Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the first author upon reasonable request.

Aboujaoude, E., Koran, L. M., Gamel, N., Large, M. D., & Serpe, R. T. (2006). Potential markers for problematic internet use: A telephone survey of 2.513 adults. CNS Spectrum, 11 (10), 750–755. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1092852900014875

Article   Google Scholar  

Akbağ, M., & Ümmet, D. (2018). Ana-babaya bağlanma ile öznel iyi oluş arasındaki ilişkide temel psikolojik ihtiyaçların doyumunun aracı rolü.  Turkish Psychological Counseling and Guidance Journal ,  8 (50), 59–85. https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/download/article-file/571505

Albayrak, A. S. (2005). Çoklu doğrusal bağlantı halinde en küçük kareler tekniğinin alternatifi yanlı tahmin teknikleri ve bir uygulama. ZKÜ Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 1 (1), 105–126. https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/pub/ijmeb/issue/54840/750869

Allen, J. J., & Anderson, C. A. (2018). Satisfaction and frustration of basic psychological needs in the real world and video games predict internet gaming disorder scores and well being. Computers in Human Behavior, 84 , 220–229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.02.034

Amatem. (2008). Bilgisayar ve internet . Ankara: Amatem Yayınları.

Google Scholar  

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5®) . American Psychiatric Publishing.

Book   Google Scholar  

Amini, Z., & Heidary, B. S. (2020). What components of adolescents’ responsibility are effective in preventing addiction? Advanced Biomedical Research, 9 (1), 2–8. https://doi.org/10.4103/abr.abr_204_19

Andreassen, C. S., Billieux, J., Griffiths, M. D., Kuss, D. J., Demetrovics, Z., Mazzoni, E., & Pallesen, S. (2016). 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, 30 (2), 252–262. https://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000160

Antunes, R., Frontini, R., Amaro, N., Salvador, R., Matos, R., Morouço, P., & Rebelo- Gonçalves, R. (2020). Exploring lifestyle habits, physical activity, anxiety and basic psychological needs in a sample of Portuguese adults during COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (12), 4360–4372. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124360

Article   CAS   Google Scholar  

Arslan, A. (2021). Ortaokul öğrencilerinde oyun bağımlılığı ile sorumluluk duygusu davranışı ve sosyal beceriler arasındaki ilişkinin incelenmesi [Unpublished master’s thesis] . İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim Üniversitesi.

Arslan, G., & Wong, P. T. (2022). Measuring personal and social responsibility: an existential positive psychology approach. Journal of Happiness and Health, 2 (1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.47602/johah.v2i1.5

Arslan, G., & Yıldırım, M. (2021). Perceived risk, positive youth–parent relationships, and internalizing problems in adolescents: Initial development of the Meaningful School Questionnaire. Child Indicators Research, 14 (5), 1911–1929. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-021-09841-0

Ates, B., Kaya, A., & Tunç, E. (2018). The ınvestigation of predictors of cyberbullying and cyber victimization in adolescents. International Journal of Progressive Education, 14 (5), 103–118. https://doi.org/10.29329/ijpe.2018.157.9

Bailey, T. H., & Phillips, L. J. (2016). The influence of motivation and adaptation on students’ subjective well-being, meaning in life and academic performance. Higher Education Research & Development, 35 (2), 201–216.

Ballabio, M., Griffiths, M. D., Urbán, R., Quartiroli, A., Demetrovics, Z., & Király, O. (2017). Do gaming motives mediate between psychiatric symptoms and problematic gaming? An empirical survey study. Addiction Research & Theory, 25 (5), 397–408. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2017.1305360

Başol, G., & Kaya, A. B. (2018). Motives and consequences of online game addiction: A scale development study. Archives of Neuropsychiatry, 55 (3), 225–232. https://doi.org/10.5152/npa.2017.17017

Batmaz, H., & Çelik, E. (2021). Examining the online game addiction level in terms of sensation seeking and loneliness in university students. Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions, 8 (2), 126–131. https://doi.org/10.5152/ADDICTA.2021.21017

Batmaz, H., Ulusoy, Y., & İnceoğlu, F. (2020). The mediating role of digital game addiction in the correlation between cyber victimization and cyber bullying. Sciences Studies Journal, 6 (73), 5093–5108. https://doi.org/10.26449/sssj.2726

Batmaz, H., Türk, N., & Doğrusever, C. (2021). The mediating role of hope and loneliness in the relationship between meaningful life and psychological resilience in the Covid-19 Pandemic during. Anemon Muş Alparslan Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 9 (5), 1403–1420. https://doi.org/10.18506/anemon.895199

Baumeister, R. F., & Vohs, K. D. (2002). The pursuit of meaningfulness in life. In: In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology , (pp. 608–618). Oxford University Press

Bayraktar, G., Tozoğlu, E., Gülbahçe, Ö., Öztürk, M. E., & Gülbahçe, A. (2016). Üniversite öğrencilerinin bireysel sosyal sorumluluk düzeylerinin spor ve farklı değişkenler açısından incelenmesi. Uluslararası Hakemli Akademik Spor Sağlık Ve Tıp Bilimleri Dergisi, 18 , 77–88.

Bekir, S., & Çelik, E. (2019). Examining the factors contributing to adolescents’ online game addiction. Anales De Psicología/annals of Psychology, 35 (3), 444–452. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.35.3.323681

Berkowitz, L., & Daniels, L. R. (1963). Responsibility and dependency. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66 (5), 429–436. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0049250

Beranuy, M., Machimbarrena, J. M., Asunción Vega-Osés, M., Carbonell, X., Griffiths, M. D., Pontes, H. M., & González-Cabrera, J. (2020). Spanish validation of the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short Form (IGDS9-SF): Prevalence and relationship with online gambling and quality of life. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (5), 1562–1577. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051562

Billieux, J., Thorens, G., Khazaal, Y., Zullino, D., Achab, S., & Van der Linden, M. (2015). Problematic involvement in online games: A cluster analytic approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 43 , 242–250. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.10.055

Brassai, L., Piko, B. F., & Steger, M. F. (2011). Meaning in life: Is it a protective factor for adolescents’ psychological health? International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 18 (1), 44–51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-010-9089-6

Bugdayci, S. (2019). Examining personal and social responsibility levels of secondary school students. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 7 (1), 206–210. https://doi.org/10.13189/ujer.2019.070126

Büyüköztürk, Ş. (2016). Data analysis handbook for social sciences (22nd ed.). Pegem Akademi Publishing.

Canale, N., Marino, C., Griffiths, M. D., Scacchi, L., Monaci, M. G., & Vieno, A. (2019). The association between problematic online gaming and perceived stress: The moderating effect of psychological resilience. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 8 (1), 174–180. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.8.2019.01

Canoğulları, Ö. (2014). İnternet bağımlılık düzeyleri farklı ergenlerin cinsiyetlerine göre psikolojik ihtiyaçları, sosyal kaygıları ve anne baba tutum algılarının incelenmesi . (Unpublished Master's thesis), Çukurova Üniversitesi, Adana

Cantarero, K., Van Tilburg, W. A., & Smoktunowicz, E. (2021). Affirming basic psychological needs promotes mental well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 12 (5), 821–828. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620942708

Çelik, N. D., & Gazioğlu, E. İ. (2017). Üst-düzey kişilik faktörleri ve yaşamda anlam: temel psikolojik ihtiyaçlarin araci rolü. Balıkesir Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 20 (38), 11–32. https://doi.org/10.31795/baunsobed.645147

Chamarro, A., Oberst, U., Cladellas, R., & Fuster, H. (2020). Effect of the frustration of psychological needs on addictive behaviors in mobile videogamers—The mediating role of use expectancies and time spent gaming. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (17), 6429. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176429

Chan, G., Huo, Y., Kelly, S., Leung, J., Tisdale, C., & Gullo, M. (2022). The impact of eSports and online video gaming on lifestyle behaviours in youth: A systematic review. Computers in Human Behavior, 126 , 106974. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.106974

Chiou, W. B., & Wan, C. S. (2007). Using cognitive dissonance to induce adolescents’ escaping from the claw of online gaming: The roles of personal responsibility and justification of cost. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 10 (5), 663–670. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2007.9972

Choi, K., Son, H., Park, M., Han, J., Kim, K., Lee, B., & Gwak, H. (2009). Internet overuse and excessive daytime sleepiness in adolescents. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 63 , 455–462. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1819.2009.01925.x

Cohen, J. (2013). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences . Routledge.

Columb, D., Griffiths, M. D., & O’Gara, C. (2022). Online gaming and gaming disorder: More than just a trivial pursuit. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 39 (1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1017/ipm.2019.31

Cómez-Mármol, A., Martínez, B. J., Sánchez, E. D., Valero, A., & González-Víllora, S. (2017). Personal and social responsibility development through sport participation in youth scholars. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 17 (2), 775–782. https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2017.02118

Corey, G. (2015). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. Nelson Education.

Cüceloğlu, D. (2015). Anlamlı ve coşkulu bir yaşam için savaşçı . Remzi Kitabevi.

De Pasquale, C., Sciacca, F., Martinelli, V., Chiappedi, M., Dinaro, C., & Hichy, Z. (2020). Relationship of internet gaming disorder with psychopathology and social adaptation in Italian young adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (21), 8201. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218201

Debats, D. L., Van der Lubbe, P. M., & Wezeman, F. R. (1993). On the psychometric properties of the Life Regard Index (LRI): A measure of meaningful life: An evaluation in three independent samples based on the Dutch version. Personality and Individual Differences, 14 (2), 337–345. https://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(93)90132-M

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The” what” and” why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11 (4), 227–268. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2011). Levels of analysis, regnant causes of behavior and well-being: The role of psychological needs. Psychological Inquiry, 22 (1), 17–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/1047840X.2011.545978

Demirbaş-Çelik, N., & İşmen-Gazioğlu, E. (2015). Meaning in life questionnaire high school form: Turkish validity and reliability. Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Journal of Education Faculty, 33 , 42–60.

Dinçer, B., & Kolan, H. İ. (2020). Ortaokul öğrencilerinin bilgisayar oyun bağımlılığı düzeyleri ile sorumluluk davranışı arasındaki ilişki. Kastamonu Eğitim Dergisi, 28 (6), 2319–2330. https://doi.org/10.24106/kefdergi.833550

Dindar, M. (2018). Do people play MMORPGs for extrinsic or intrinsic rewards? Telematics and Informatics, 35 (7), 1877–1886. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2018.06.001

Doğan, D. A., & Pamuk, İ. (2022). Uzaktan eğitim sürecinde ergenlerin çevrimiçi oyunlara yönelik deneyimleri: Fenomenolojik bir araştırma. International Journal of Social Sciences and Education Research, 8 (1), 71–86. https://doi.org/10.24289/ijsser.1032025

Doğrusever, C., Türk, N., & Batmaz, H. (2022). The mediating role of meaningful life in the relationship between self-esteem and psychological resilience. İnönü Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 23 (2), 910–928. https://doi.org/10.17679/inuefd.1029866

Dökmen, Ü. (2019). Varolmak gelişmek uzlaşmak , İstanbul, Remzi Kitapevi.

Douglass, N. H. (2001). Saygı ve sorumluluk eğitiminde yeni yaklaşımlar . Nobel Yayınları. Dökmen, Ü. (2019). Varolmak, gelişmek, uzlaşmak . Sistem Yayıncılık

Dursun, A., & Çapan, B. E. (2018). Ergenlerde dijital oyun bağımlılığı ve psikolojik ihtiyaçlar. İnönü Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 19 (2), 128–140. https://doi.org/10.17679/inuefd.336272

Eakman, A. M. (2013). Relationships between meaningful activity, basic psychological needs, and meaning in life: Test of the meaningful activity and life meaning model. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 33 (2), 100–109. https://doi.org/10.3928/15394492-20130222-02

Erevik, E. K., Landrø, H., Mattson, Å. L., Kristensen, J. H., Kaur, P., & Pallesen, S. (2022). Problem gaming and suicidality: A systematic literature review. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 15 , 100419. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2022.100419

Erikson, E. (1968). Identity, youth and crisis . Norton.

Frankl, V. (1969). The will to meaning . New American Library.

Frankl, V. E. (2009). İnsanın anlam arayışı . Okuyan Us Yayıncılık.

Gao, Q., Zheng, H., Sun, R., & Lu, S. (2022). Parent-adolescent relationships, peer relationships and adolescent mobile phone addiction: The mediating role of psychological needs satisfaction. Addictive Behaviors, 129 , 107260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107260

Geçtan, E. (2006). İnsan olmak (5. Baskı). Metis

George, D. (2010). SPSS for windows step by step: A simple study guide and reference, 17.0 update (10th ed.). Pearson

Glasser, W. (2005). Responsibility, respect and relationships: Creating emotionally safe classrooms . Quality Educational Programs Inc.

Griffiths, M. D. (2017). Behavioural addiction and substance addiction should be defined by their similarities not their dissimilarities. Addiction, 112 (10), 1718–1720. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.13828

Griffiths, M. D. (2022). Online gaming addiction in youth: Some comments on Rosendo-Rios et al. (2022). Addictive Behaviors, 130 , 107311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107311

Gugliandolo, M. C., Costa, S., Kuss, D. J., Cuzzocrea, F., & Verrastro, V. (2020). Technological addiction in adolescents: The interplay between parenting and psychological basic needs. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 18 (5), 1389–1402. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00156-4

Haberlin, K. A., & Atkin, D. J. (2022). Mobile gaming and Internet addiction: When is playing no longer just fun and games? Computers in Human Behavior, 126 , 106989. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.106989

Hayes, A. F. (2018). Partial, conditional, and moderated moderated mediation: Quantification, inference, and interpretation. Communication Monographs, 85 (1), 4–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2017.1352100

Herodotou, C., Winters, N., & Kambouri, M. (2012). A motivationally oriented approach to understanding game appropriation. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 28 (1), 34–47. https://doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2011.566108

Holdorf, W. E., & Greenwald, J. M. (2018). Toward a taxonomy and unified construct of responsibility. Personality and Individual Differences, 132 , 115–125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.05.028

Hui, B. P. H., Wu, A. M., Siu, N. Y., Chung, M. L., & Pun, N. (2019). The effects of need satisfaction and dissatisfaction on flourishing among young Chinese gamers: The mediating role of internet gaming disorder. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16 (22), 4367. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224367

Hussain, Z., Griffiths, M. D., & Baguley, T. (2012). Online gaming addiction: Classification, prediction and associated risk factors. Addiction Research & Theory, 20 (5), 359–371. https://doi.org/10.3109/16066359.2011.640442

İhsan, S., Yenigün, Ö., Altıncı, E. E., & Öztürk, A. (2011). Temel psikolojik ihtiyaçların tatmininin genel öz yeterlik ve sürekli kaygı üzerine etkisi (Sakarya Üniversitesi Spor Yöneticiliği Bölümü örneği). Spormetre Beden Eğitimi Ve Spor Bilimleri Dergisi, 9 (4), 149–156. https://doi.org/10.1501/Sporm_0000000212

Jim, H. S., Richardson, S. A., Golden-Kreutz, D. M., & Andersen, B. L. (2006). Strategies used in coping with a cancer diagnosis predict meaning in life for survivors. Health Psychology, 25 , 753–761. https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-6133.25.6.753

Karaca, S., Karakoc, A., Can Gurkan, O., Onan, N., & Unsal Barlas, G. (2020). Investigation of the online game addiction level, sociodemographic characteristics and social anxiety as risk factors for online game addiction in middle school students. Community Mental Health Journal, 56 (5), 830–838. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-019-00544-z

Kardefelt-Winther, D. (2014). Problematizing excessive online gaming and its psychological predictors. Computers in Human Behavior, 31 , 118–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.10.017

Kaya, A. (2021). Adölesanlarda dijital oyun bağımlılığının mutluluk ve yaşamın anlamına etkisi. Bağımlılık Dergisi, 22 (3), 297–304. https://doi.org/10.51982/bagimli.902685

Kesici, A. (2018). Lise öğrencilerinin sorumluluk düzeylerinin çeşitli değişkenlere göre incelenmesi. Gazi Üniversitesi Gazi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 38 (3), 965–985.

Kesici, A. (2020). The effect of conscientiousness and gender on digital game addiction in high schoolstudents. Journal of Education and Future, 18 , 43–53.

Kesici, Ş, et al. (2003). Temel psikolojik ihtiyaçlar ölçeğinin geçerlik ve güvenirliği . Malatya, Turkey: VII. National PDR Congress İnönü University.

Kilinç, Z., & Gürer, B. (2019). Doğa sporları yapanların temel psikolojik ihtiyaçlarının zihinsel dayanıklılığa etkisi. CBÜ Beden Eğitimi ve Spor Bilimleri Dergisi, 14 (2), 222–233. https://doi.org/10.33459/cbubesbd.576242

Kim, D., Nam, J. K., & Keum, C. (2022). Adolescent internet gaming addiction and personality characteristics by game genre. PloS One, 17 (2), e0263645. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0263645

King, D. L., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2014). The cognitive psychology of internet gaming disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 34 (4), 298–308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2014.03.006

King, L. A., & Hicks, J. A. (2021). The science of meaning in life. Annual Review of Psychology, 72 , 561–584. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-072420-122921

Király, O., Urbán, R., Griffiths, M. D., Ágoston, C., Nagygyörgy, K., Kökönyei, G., & Demetrovics, Z. (2015). The mediating effect of gaming motivation between psychiatric symptoms and problematic online gaming: An online survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17 (4), e3515. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.3515

Kokkini, V., Tseliou, E., Abakoumkin, G., & Bozatzis, N. (2022). “Immersed in world of warcraft”: A discursive study of identity management talk about excessive online gaming. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 41 (5), 590–612. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X211067820

Kuss, D. J., & Billieux, J. (2017). Technological addictions: Conceptualisation, measurement, etiology and treatment. Addictive Behaviors, 64 , 231–233.

Kuss, D. J., Dunn, T. J., Wӧlfling, K., Müller, K. W., Hędzelek, M., & Marcinkowski, J. (2017). Excessive Internet use and psychopathology: the role of coping.  Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 14 (1), 73–81. https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28364

Larrieu, M., Billieux, J., & Decamps, G. (2022). Problematic gaming and quality of life in online competitive videogame players: Identification of motivational profiles. Addictive Behaviors, 133 , 107363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107363

Lee, Y. S., Han, D. H., Yang, K. C., Daniels, M. A., Na, C., Kee, B. S., & Renshaw, P. F. (2008). Depression like characteristics of 5HTTPLPR polymorphism and temperament in excessive internet users. Journal of Affective Disorders, 109 , 165–169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2007.10.020

Lee, J. Y., Ko, D. W., & Lee, H. (2019). Loneliness, regulatory focus, inter-personal competence, and online game addiction: A moderated mediation model. Internet Research, 29 (2), 381–394. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-01-2018-0020

Lelonek-Kuleta, B., Bartczuk, R. P., & Wiechetek, M. (2021). Pay for play–Behavioural patterns of pay-to-win gaming. Computers in Human Behavior, 115 , 106592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2020.106592

Levine, S. L., Brabander, C. J., Moore, A. M., Holding, A. C., & Koestner, R. (2022). Unhappy or unsatisfied: Distinguishing the role of negative affect and need frustration in depressive symptoms over the academic year and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Motivation and Emotion, 46 (1), 126–136. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-021-09920-3

Liang, Q., Yu, C., Xing, Q., Liu, Q., & Chen, P. (2021). The influence of parental knowledge and basic psychological needs satisfaction on peer victimization and internet gaming disorder among Chinese adolescents: A mediated moderation model. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (5), 2397. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052397

Liu, D., Wang, Z., Yang, X., Zhang, Y., Zhang, R., & Lin, S. (2021). Perceived autonomy-supportive parenting and internet addiction: Respiratory sinus arrhythmia moderated the mediating effect of basic psychological need satisfaction. Current Psychology, 40 (9), 4255–4264. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00485-6

Luciana, R. P. (2010). One minute more: Adolescent addiction for virtual world. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2 (2), 3706–3710. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.576

Marcia, J. E. (1980). Identity in adolescence. In J. Adelson (Ed.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp. 159–187). Wiley.

Martins, P., Rosado, A., Ferreira, V., & Biscaia, R. (2015). Examining the validity of the personal-social responsibility questionnaire among athletes. Motriz: Revista de Educação Física, 21 (3), 321–328. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1980-65742015000300014

Martins, P., Rosado, A., Ferreira, V., & Biscaia, R. (2017). Personal and social responsibility among athletes: The role of self-determination, achievement goals and engagement. Journal of Human Kinetics, 57 (1), 39–50. https://doi.org/10.1515/hukin-2017-0045

Mascaro, N., & Rosen, D. H. (2005). Existential meaning’s role in the enhancement of hope and prevention of depressive symptoms. Journal of Personality, 73 (4), 985–1014. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2005.00336.x

Matsumoto, D. (2009). The Cambridge dictionary of psychology . Cambridge University Press.

McInroy, L. B., & Mishna, F. (2017). Cyberbullying on online gaming platforms for children and youth. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 34 (6), 597–607. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-017-0498-0

Mergler, A., & Shield, P. (2016). Development of the Personal Responsibility Scale for adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 100 (51), 50–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.05.011

Mills, D. J., & Allen, J. J. (2020). Self-determination theory, internet gaming disorder, and the mediating role of self-control. Computers in Human Behavior, 105 , 106209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.106209

Mills, D. J., Milyavskaya, M., Heath, N. L., & Derevensky, J. L. (2018). Gaming motivation and problematic video gaming: The role of needs frustration. European Journal of Social Psychology, 48 (4), 551–559. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2343

Monacis, L., de Palo, V., Griffiths, M. D., & Sinatra, M. (2017). Exploring individual differences in online addictions: The role of identity and attachment. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15 (4), 853–868. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-017-9768-5

Mun, I. B., & Lee, S. (2022). A longitudinal study of the impact of parental loneliness on adolescents’ online game addiction: The mediating roles of adolescents’ social skill deficits and loneliness. Computers in Human Behavior, 136 , 107375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107375

Oliver, M. B., Bowman, N. D., Woolley, J. K., Rogers, R., Sherrick, B. I., & Chung, M. Y. (2016). Video games as meaningful entertainment experiences. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5 (4), 390–405. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000066

Orkibi, H., & Ronen, T. (2017). Basic psychological needs satisfaction mediates the association between self-control skills and subjective well-being. Frontiers in Psychology, 8 , 936. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00936

Özen, Y. (2011). Sorumluluk eğitimi . Nobel Yayın Dağıtım.

Özen, Y. (2013). Sorumluluk duygusu ve davranışı ölçeğinin geliştirilmesi güvenirliği ve geçerliği. Gümüshane University Electronic Journal of the Institute of Social Science, 4 (7), 343–356.

Park, C. L. (2010). Making sense of the meaning literature: An integrative review of meaning making and its effects on adjustment to stressful life events. Psychological Bulletin, 136 , 257–301. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018301

Piri, Z., Majd, M. A., Bazzazyan, S., & ve Ghamari, M. (2018). The mediating role of coping strategies in relation with psychological needs and internet addiction among college student. International Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences, 5 (3), 9–17. https://doi.org/10.22037/ijabs.v5i3.24194

Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40 (3), 879–891.

Purwaningsih, E., & Nurmala, I. (2021). The impact of online game addiction on adolescent mental health: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 9 (F), 260–274. https://doi.org/10.3889/oamjms.2021.6234

Qiu, C., Liu, Q., Yu, C., Li, Z., & Nie, Y. (2022). The influence of meaning in life on children and adolescents’ problematic smartphone use: A three-wave multiple mediation model. Addictive Behaviors, 126 , 107199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107199

Rajab, A. M., Zaghloul, M. S., Enabi, S., Rajab, T. M., Al-Khani, A. M., Basalah, A., & Saquib, N. (2020). Gaming addiction and perceived stress among Saudi adolescents. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 11 , 100261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2020.100261

Rigby, S., & Ryan, R. M. (2017). Time well spent? Motivation for entertainment media and its eudaimonic aspects through the lens of self-determination theory. L. Reinecke, M.B. Oliver (Eds.),  The Routledge handbook of media use and well-being, international perspectives on theory and research on positive media effects (pp. 34–48). Routledge

Rigby, S., & Ryan, R. M. (2011). Glued to games: How video games draw us in and hold us spellbound: How video games draw us in and hold us spellbound . AbC-CLIo.

Robinson, S. (2009). The nature of responsibility in a professional setting. Journal of Business Ethics, 88 (1), 11–19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0103-3

Rosendo-Rios, V., Trott, S., & Shukla, P. (2022). Systematic literature review online gaming addiction among children and young adults: A framework and research agenda. Addictive Behaviors, 129 , 107238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107238

Ruyter, D. D. (2002). The virtue of taking responsibility. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 34 (1), 25–35. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-5812.2002.tb00283.x

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). The darker and brighter sides of human existence: Basic psychological needs as a unifying concept. Psychological Inquiry, 11 (4), 319–338. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_03

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness . Guilford Publications.

Ryan, R. M., Rigby, C. S., & Przybylski, A. (2006). The motivational pull of video games: A self-determination theory approach. Motivation and Emotion, 30 (4), 344–360. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-006-9051-8

Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57 , 1069–1081. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.57.6.1069

Sachdeva, A., & Verma, R. (2015). Internet gaming addiction: A technological hazard. International Journal of High Risk Behaviors & Addiction, 4 (4), e26359. https://doi.org/10.5812/ijhrba.26359

Şata, M. (2020). Nicel araştırma yaklaşımları. Oğuz, E. (Eds.), Eğitimde araştırma yöntemleri içinde (p. 77–97). Eğiten Kitap Yayıncılık

Sela, Y., Zach, M., Amichay-Hamburger, Y., Mishali, M., & Omer, H. (2020). Family environment and problematic internet use among adolescents: The mediating roles of depression and fear of missing out. Computers in Human Behavior, 106 , 106226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.106226

Shahzadi, U., Koul, R. B., Haq, M. N. U., & Arshad, M. (2022). Attitude, behavior and responsibility to environmental literacy in education organization: A quantitative assessment. Indian Journal of Economics and Business, 21 (1), 709–716. http://www.ashwinanokha.com/IJEB.php

Shek, D. T., Dou, D., Zhu, X., & Chai, W. (2019). Positive youth development: Current perspectives. Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 10 , 131–141. https://doi.org/10.2147/AHMT.S179946

Shen, C. X., Liu, R. D., & Wang, D. (2013). Why are children attracted to the Internet? The role of need satisfaction perceived online and perceived in daily real life. Computers in Human Behavior, 29 (1), 185–192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.08.004

Steger, M. F. (2012). Experiencing meaning in life. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: Theories, research and applications (pp. 165–184). Taylor & Francis.

Steger, M. F., Frazier, P., Oishi, S., & Kaler, M. (2006). The Meaning in Life Questionnaire: Assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53 (1), 80–93. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0167.53.1.80

Subrahmanyam, K., & Šmahel, D. (2011). Constructing identity online: Identity exploration and self-presentation. In:  Digital youth  (pp. 59–80). Springer

Sun, R., Gao, Q., Xiang, Y., Chen, T., Liu, T., & Chen, Q. (2020). Parent–child relationships and mobile phone addiction tendency among Chinese adolescents: The mediating role of psychological needs satisfaction and the moderating role of peer relationships. Children and Youth Services Review, 116 , 105113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105113

Tamborini, R., Grizzard, M., Bowman, N. D., Reinecke, L., Lewis, R. J., & Eden, A. (2011). Media enjoyment as need satisfaction: The contribution of hedonic and nonhedonic needs. Journal of Communication, 61 (6), 1025–1042. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2011.01593.x

Tanhan, F., & Özlem, A. (2015). Siber kimliklerin kişiliğe yansıması: Proteus etki (tanımı, nedenleri ve önlenmesi). Online Journal of Technology Addiction and Cyberbullying, 2 (2), 1–19.

Taylı, A. (2006). Akran yardımcılığı uygulaması aracılığıyla lise öğrencilerinde kişisel ve sosyal sorumluluğun arttırılması. [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. Gazi Üniversitesi, Eğitim Bilimleri Enstitüsü. Ankara

Taylı, A. (2013). Sorumluluğun bazı değişkenler açısından değerlendirilmesi. Muğla Sıtkı Koçman Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi , 30, 68–84. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/musbed/issue/23302/248613

Tazegül, Ü. (2014). Sporun kişilik üzerindeki etkisinin araştırılması. Journal of Academic Social Science Studies, 25 , 537–544.

Thatcher, A., Wretschko, G., & Fridjhon, P. (2008). Online flow experiences, problematic Internet use and Internet procrastination. Computers in Human Behavior, 24 (5), 2236–2254.

Turan, M. E. (2021). Empathy and video game addiction in adolescents: Serial mediation by psychological resilience and life satisfaction. International Journal of Progressive Education, 17 (4), 282–296. https://doi.org/10.29329/ijpe.2021.366.17

Wang, Q., Luo, X., Tu, R., Xiao, T., & Hu, W. (2022). COVID-19 information overload and cyber aggression during the pandemic lockdown: The mediating role of depression/anxiety and the moderating role of Confucian responsibility thinking. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (3), 1540. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031540

Wartberg, L., Kriston, L., & Kammerl, R. (2017). Associations of social support, friends only known through the internet, and health-related quality of life with internet gaming disorder in adolescence. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 20 (7), 436–441. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2016.0535

Wei, H. T., Chen, M. H., Huang, P. C., & Bai, Y. M. (2012). The association between online gaming, social phobia, and depression: An internet survey. BMC Psychiatry, 12 (1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-244X-12-92

Weinstein, N., Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2012). Motivation, meaning, and wellness: A self-determination perspective on the creation and internalization of personal meanings and life goals. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning (pp. 127–152). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203146286-13

Chapter   Google Scholar  

Widyanto, L., & Griffiths, M. (2006). Internet addiction: A critical review. International Journal Mental Health and Addiction, 4 , 31–51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-006-9009-9

Wong, P. T. (2010). The PURE way for a better marriage . International Network on Personal Meaning.

Wong, P. T. P. (2019). What is the greatest need today? Responsibility is the key to surviving and thriving in dangerous times . Retrieved from:  http://www.drpaulwong.com/what-is-the-greatest-need-todayresponsibility-is-the-key-to-surviving-and-thriving-in-dangerous-times/ . Accessed 30 Nov 2022

Wongpakaran, N., Wongpakaran, T., Pinyopornpanish, M., Simcharoen, S., & Kuntawong, P. (2021). Loneliness and problematic internet use: Testing the role of interpersonal problems and motivation for internet use. BMC Psychiatry, 21 (1), 447. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-021-03457-y

World Health Organization (2019). International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Groups that were involved in ICD-11 Revision Process . Retrieved from:  https://www.who.int/standards/classifications/classification-of-diseases . Accessed 30 Nov 2022

Wray-Lake, L., & Syvertsen, A. K. (2011). The developmental roots of social responsibility in childhood and adolescence. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 2011 (134), 11–25. https://doi.org/10.1002/cd.308

Wu, A. M., Lei, L. L., & Ku, L. (2013). Psychological needs, purpose in life, and problem video game playing among Chinese young adults. International Journal of Psychology, 48 (4), 583–590. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207594.2012.658057

Xiao, X., & Zheng, X. (2022). The effect of parental phubbing on depression in Chinese junior high school students: The mediating roles of basic psychological needs satisfaction and self-esteem. Frontiers in Psychology, 13 , 868354. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.868354

Yalom, I. D. (2020). Existential psychotherapy . Hachette UK.

Yang, J., Ti, Y., & Ye, Y. (2022). Offline and online social support and short-form video addiction among Chinese adolescents: The mediating role of emotion suppression and relatedness needs. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 25 (5), 316–322. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2021.0323

Yee, N. (2006). Motivations for play in online games. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9 (6), 772–775. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.2006.9.772

Yıkılmaz, M., & Demir-Güdül, M. (2015). Üniversite öğrencilerinde yaşam doyumu, yaşamda anlam ve bilinçli farkındalık arasındaki ilişkiler. Ege Eğitim Dergisi, 16 (2), 297–315. https://doi.org/10.12984/eed.09530

Yıldırım, E., & Zeren, Ş. G. (2021). Video game addiction in Turkey: Does it correlate between basic psychological needs and perceived social support? Psycho-Educational Research Reviews, 10 (2), 106–117. From: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1311681

Yough, M., Gilmetdinova, A., & Finney, E. (2022). Teaching the English language learner at the elementary school: Sense of responsibility in an ill-defined role. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 21 (2), 99–115. https://doi.org/10.1080/15348458.2020.1791707

Young, K. S., & Rodgers, R. C. (2009). The relationship between depression and internetaddiction. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 1 (1), 25–28. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.1998.1.25

Young, K. S. (2009). Internet addiction: The emergence of a new clinical disorder. CyberPsychology & Behavior , 11, 237–244. https://doi.org/10.1089/cpb.1998.1.237

Young-Ju, J., Ae-Kyung, C., Jeong-Jin, K., & ve Min-Yeong, L. (2018). Identification of the structural relationship of basic psychological needs and Facebook addiction and continuance. Journal of the Institute of Internet, Broadcasting and Communication, 16 (1), 183–191. https://doi.org/10.7236/JIIBC.2016.16.1.183

Yu, C., Li, X., & Zhang, W. (2015). Predicting adolescent problematic online game use from teacher autonomy support, basic psychological needs satisfaction, and school engagement: A 2-year longitudinal study. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 18 (4), 228–233. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2014.0385

Zeren, ŞG., & ve Can, S. (2019). Ergenlerin akademik erteleme davranışlarını açıklamada internet bağımlığı ve temel psikolojik ihtiyaçların rolü. Çukurova Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 48 (2), 1012–1040.

Zhang, M. X., Wang, X., Shu, M. Y., & Wu, A. M. (2019). Purpose in life, social support, and internet gaming disorder among Chinese university students: A 1-year follow-up study. Addictive Behaviors, 99 , 106070. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.106070

Zhang, S., Feng, R., Fu, Y. N., Liu, Q., He, Y., Turel, O., & He, Q. (2022). The bidirectional relationship between basic psychological needs and meaning in life: A longitudinal study. Personality and Individual Differences, 197 , 111784. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2022.111784

Zhao, H., Li, X., Zhou, J., Nie, Q., & Zhou, J. (2020). The relationship between bullying victimization and online game addiction among Chinese early adolescents: The potential role of meaning in life and gender differences. Children and Youth Services Review, 116 , 105261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105261

Download references

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the individuals all participants who participated in this study.

Author information

Authors and affiliations.

Department of Guidance and Psychological Counselling, Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University, Ağrı, Turkey

Alican Kaya

Department of Guidance and Psychological Counselling, Siirt University, Siirt, Turkey

Department of Guidance and Psychological Counselling, Sakarya University PhD Student, Sakarya, Turkey

Hasan Batmaz

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FQ, UK

Mark D. Griffiths

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

Contributions

Study conception/design: AK, HB, NT, and MDG. Data collection: AK, HB, and NT. analysis: AK and HB. Drafting of manuscript: AK, HB, NT, and MDG. Editing: MDG. Statistical expertise: AK and HB. Administrative/technical/material support: HB and HYK.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mark D. Griffiths .

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval.

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of University’s Research Ethics Board and with the 1975 Helsinki Declaration.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing interests except for MDG. MDG’s university has received research funding from Norsk Tipping (the gambling operator owned by the Norwegian Government). MDG has also received funding for a number of research projects in the area of gambling education for young people, social responsibility in gambling and gambling treatment from Gamble Aware (formerly the Responsible Gambling Trust) , a charitable body which funds its research program based on donations from the gambling industry. MDG regularly undertakes consultancy for various gambling companies in the area of player protection and social responsibility in gambling.

Additional information

Publisher's note.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ .

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Kaya, A., Türk, N., Batmaz, H. et al. Online Gaming Addiction and Basic Psychological Needs Among Adolescents: The Mediating Roles of Meaning in Life and Responsibility. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-022-00994-9

Download citation

Accepted : 15 December 2022

Published : 10 January 2023

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-022-00994-9

Share this article

Anyone you share the following link with will be able to read this content:

Sorry, a shareable link is not currently available for this article.

Provided by the Springer Nature SharedIt content-sharing initiative

  • Basic psychological needs
  • Online gaming addiction
  • Responsibility
  • Meaning in life
  • Find a journal
  • Publish with us
  • Track your research

BRIEF RESEARCH REPORT article

The association between mobile game addiction and depression, social anxiety, and loneliness.

\nJin-Liang Wang

  • 1 Center for Mental Health Education, School of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing, China
  • 2 Chongqing Youth and Vocational Technical College, Chongqing, China

As a new type of addictive behaviors and distinct from traditional internet game addiction on desktop computers, mobile game addiction has attracted researchers' attention due to its possible negative effects on mental health issues. However, very few studies have particularly examined the relationship between mobile game addiction and mental health outcomes, due to a lack of specified instrument for measuring this new type of behavioral addiction. In this study, we examined the relationship between mobile game addition and social anxiety, depression, and loneliness among adolescents. We found that mobile game addiction was positively associated with social anxiety, depression, and loneliness. A further analysis on gender difference in the paths from mobile game addiction to these mental health outcomes was examined, and results revealed that male adolescents tend to report more social anxiety when they use mobile game addictively. We also discussed limitations and implications for mental health practice.

With the fast development of mobile technology, many functions of desktop computers have been transferred to mobile devices like ipad and smartphone, which is especially the case for game applications. Mobile video games refer to games played by either single or multi players via online mobile devices. These games are particularly popular when they can be downloaded for free (e.g., “freemium games,” which are free but customers pay for extra features) ( 1 ). The latest China Internet Network Information Center's (CNNIC) report revealed that the growth rate of mobile online game has reached 9.6% and adolescents are the main user group ( 2 ). In comparison with most segments of society, adolescents are more vulnerable to Internet-related addiction because of their psychological and developmental characteristics, the easy access to Internet with a portable device, and the positive expectation of mobile gaming ( 3 ). It has been demonstrated that video game addicts suffered poorer mental health and cognitive functioning, and increased emotional difficulties, such as enhanced depression and anxiety, as well as more social isolation ( 4 ).

Despite this, relatively few studies have examined the relationship between mobile game addiction and mental health outcomes. This is because, so far, no measurement especially designed for mobile game addiction has been developed. In literature, problematic mobile video gaming has been defined as a phenomenon in which users strongly rely on mobile games and cannot help playing them repeatedly over a comparatively long period ( 5 ). Previous studies of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) have mainly focused on traditional online gaming addiction based on a desktop computer. However, recent research has suggested that there were only moderate correlations between the different forms of Internet addiction ( 6 ). In addition, although mobile game addiction has some similarity with traditional desktop computer online game addiction, there are still obvious differences. Specifically, mobile video games are characterized by portability, immediacy, and accessibility ( 7 ), which may increase the risk for addictive behavioral patterns and, thus, more severe mental health problems.

Additionally, most prior studies have treated social anxiety, depression, and loneliness as risk factors for Internet-relevant addiction ( 8 , 9 ), whereas, few studies have examined the alternative direction ( 10 ). A relevant study found that the relative risk for depression in students with Internet addiction after months was 1.5 times higher than that of non-Internet addiction participants, after controlling for potential confounding variables (gender, study burden, age, rural, or urban school). This indicated that Internet relevant addiction may also lead to depression and loneliness ( 11 ). Another reason for conducting the current study was because the relationship between playing video games and psychological adjustment during adolescence is relatively scarce, which is especially true for investigating the association between playing video games and social anxiety among adolescents ( 12 ). Therefore, an investigation on this issue can help us understand how mobile game addiction may hinder adolescents' social development and would provide some guidance for mental health education practice.

Theoretical Framework

Mobile game addiction and depression.

Internet game addiction is characterized by cognitive and emotional deficits. Previous studies have reported the co-occurrence of Internet addition and depression ( 13 , 14 ). In addition, a longitudinal study found that Internet game addition/depression severity at an earlier time positively predicted the depression/Internet game addition severity at a later time, which indicated that a possible bidirectional relationship existed between online gamers' depression symptoms and addiction. People cope with their emotional distress by playing online games, but the excessive use of online games for a long time may separate individuals from real-life relationships, thus causing severer mental health problems, such as depression ( 15 ). Therefore, in this study, we would expect a positive relationship between mobile game addition and depression.

Mobile Game Addition and Loneliness

Loneliness is defined as an unpleasant experience that derives from important deficiencies in a person's network of social relationships ( 16 ). Previous studies have consistently confirmed the connection between loneliness and online game addiction ( 17 , 18 ). Furthermore, loneliness is not only the cause of online gaming addiction but also the consequence; there is a possible reciprocal relationship ( 19 ). Prior research has indicated that, although playing online games may temporarily provide an escape from the negative feelings associated with social deficiencies, excessive gaming does little to facilitate the development or maintenance of real-life relationships. Instead, the substitution for interpersonal interactions in real life may exacerbate the deterioration of existing social relationships, thereby increasing loneliness ( 19 ). Thus, we would expect a positive association between mobile game addiction and loneliness in this study.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety, which is the most common anxiety disorder in adolescence, is the state of tension or discomfort experienced by individuals in social situations ( 20 ). The investigation on the potential effects of mobile game addiction and adolescence social anxiety is of importance considering that approximately one third of adolescents meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder ( 21 , 22 ). Some literature indicates that Internet addiction, smartphone addiction, and online game addiction were all associated with an individual's social anxiety [e.g., ( 23 )]. Individuals with a serious tendency for online gaming addiction have significantly higher social anxiety levels than those who use online games normally. Lo et al. ( 24 ) investigated the potential effects of online games on the quality of interpersonal relationships and levels of social anxiety. The results indicated that the quality of interpersonal relationships may be undermined and the amount of social anxiety may increase when teenagers spend more time playing online games ( 24 ). In the current study, we would expect a positive association between mobile game addiction and social anxiety.

Gender Difference

Gender has been proposed as an important factor in influencing Internet use and its outcomes regarding mental health (e.g., 8). Evidence has suggested that males have a predilection toward activities that involve explosive action and combat, while females are drawn toward activities that are more social and communication focused ( 25 ). Females received more family supervision, which may prevent them from developing Internet addiction ( 26 ). In a more recent study, female video game addicts displayed significantly more somatic difficulties than male addicts ( 4 ). They further argued that female addicts may be uniquely at risk for negative physical health outcomes and sleep disturbances ( 4 ). Significant gender difference was also revealed on the association between family function and Internet addiction among adolescence ( 27 ). Females showed more negative consequences of its maladaptive mobile phone use ( 28 ). These studies highlighted the need to explore gender differences in mobile game addition and mental health problems further.

Participants and Data Collection Procedure

Data of this study was from the students ( n = 600) enrolled in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades of a junior high school in Guizhou Province. Letters describing the project were sent home to parents with a consent form inviting participation. Children whose parents provided written informed consent and who themselves gave assent completed the questionnaire in classroom settings. Prior to answering the items, participants read information about the implications of participation and data protection. The information emphasized that participation was completely voluntary and anonymous. Excluding missing or incomplete data, 578 survey responses were collected (mean age = 15 years, SD = 1.05). 56.7% ( n = 328) participants were self-identified as males.

Mobile Game Addiction Scale

This scale was specially developed for the measurement of mobile game addiction and included 11 items ( 29 ). Each item was rated on a Likert-type scale from 1 = completely disagree to 5 = completely agree, with the total scores ranging from 11 to 55. A higher score indicated a severer addition tendency. This scale has shown good construct validity, with χ 2 /df = 2.835, RMSEA = 0.056, 90% CI (0.044, 0.069), SRMR = 0.037, CLI = 0.970, TLI = 0.959, the Cronbach alpha coefficient in the current study was 0.84. Sample items included: “ During the last year, have you felt miserable when you were unable to play mobile video games or played less than usual? ” and “ During the last year, have you played mobile video games so that you would not have to think about annoying things? ”

Depression Scale

The depression subscale from the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) was used to assess the depression symptoms ( 30 ). The scale contains 6 items and each item was rated on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (extremely serious). Higher scores indicate severe depressive symptoms. We did a measurement model analysis, and the scale showed good construct validity, with χ 2 /df = 1.931,RMSEA = 0.040,90% CI(0.000, 0.070),SRMR = 0.020,CFI = 0.994, TLI = 0.989. The Cronbach alpha coefficient in the current study was 0.84. Sample items included: “ You feel sad ” and “ You find everything dull .”

Child Loneliness Scale

The revised version of the Child Loneliness Scale was adopted to evaluate individuals' loneliness ( 31 ). The scale contains 16 items, which were answered using a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (always) to 5 (never); higher scores indicate elevated loneliness. Good construct validity was exhibited in the current sample, with χ 2 /df = 2.833, RMSEA = 0.056, 9 % CI(0.048, 0.065), SRMR = 0.0461, CFI = 0.940, TLI = 0.918. The Cronbach alpha coefficient in our sample was 0.86. Sample items included: “ I don't have any friends ” and “ I feel lonely .”

Child Social Anxiety Scale

The modified version of the Child Social Anxiety Scale was used to assess participants' social anxiety ( 32 ). The term “children” in the original scale was changed to “classmate” in the current version. The scale contains 10 items and each item was rated using a 3-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 = never to 3 = always. Higher scores indicate higher levels of social anxiety. The scale has been proved to have good construct validity in the current study, with χ 2 / df = 2.872, RMSEA = 0.057, 90% CI(0.044, 0.071), SRMR = 0.041, CFI = 0.951, TLI = 0.931, and the Cronbach alpha coefficient in our sample was 0.80. Sample items included: “ I think my classmates make fun of me ” and “ I'm afraid other students won't like me .”

Descriptive Statistics and Zero-Order Correlations Among the Study Variables

Table 1 shows the descriptive results and zero-order correlations among the study variables. Mobile addiction was positively correlated with depression, loneliness, and social anxiety, with the correlations ranging from 0.18 to 0.46 ( p s < 0.01).

www.frontiersin.org

Table 1 . Descriptive results and zero-order correlations among the study variables.

Structural Equation Modeling on the Relationship Between Mobile Game Addiction, Depression, Social Anxiety, and Loneliness

Using Amos 22.0, we conducted a structural equation analysis to examine the association between mobile game addiction, depression, social anxiety, and loneliness.

Several underlying statistical assumptions for multiple regression analysis were examined before running the structural modeling. The assumption of homoscedasticity was checked using the Levene's Test for Equality of Variances ( 33 ). The test ensured no significant differences in the variance of the three dependent variables of social anxiety, depression, and loneliness across groups defined by mobile gaming addiction ( p > 0.05 for all cases). Thus, the assumption of homoscedasticity was not violated ( 34 ). Second, the skewness values for all variables ranged from 0.25 to 0.82 and the kurtosis values ranged from 0.27 to 0.30, which are within the acceptable range of −1 to +1 for normality ( 35 ). Thus, the violation of the normality assumption was not present in the sample data. Thirdly, the assumption of independence of residuals was confirmed by the calculation of the Durbin–Watson statistics for the dependent variables of depression (= 1.36), social anxiety (= 1.76), and loneliness (= 1.71), which are within the acceptable range of 1.5–2.5 for independence ( 36 ). Lastly, multi-collinearity was evaluated through the assessment of zero-order correlations among selected measured constructs, as calculated in Table 1 . Harris and Hagger ( 37 ) noted that multicolline arity is not a serious issue if none of the correlation coefficients between variables exceeds 0.70. It is apparent that pair-wise bivariate associations between the study variables were not highly correlated with each other. Accordingly, multi-collinearity was dismissed from being a major concern in the present study ( 38 ). To conclude, the sample data were judged to meet the criteria for further analysis.

Model fit was assessed by considering multiple criteria: a Chi-square/df < 5 a root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) of <0.08 and a comparative fit index (CFI) and a Tucker-Lewis index (TLI) of >0.90 ( 39 ). The model fit was considered acceptable when most abovementioned criteria were satisfied. Our results showed that the model fit to the data well, with χ 2 /df = 3.475, RMSEA = 0.065, 90% CI (0.06, 0.07), CLI = 0.937, TLI = 0.921. Mobile game addiction can explain 10% variance of depression, 6% variance of social anxiety, and 4% variance of loneliness. The standardized beta coefficients are shown in Figure 1 . Mobile game addiction was positively related to depression, social anxiety, and loneliness, with β = 0.31, p < 0.001, β = 0.25, p < 0.001, and β = 0.21, p < 0.001, respectively.

www.frontiersin.org

Figure 1 . The Structural Modeling on the relation between mobile game addiction and depression, social anxiety, and loneliness. *** p < 0.01.

Considering that gender was proposed as a variable that may moderate the relationship between mobile game addiction and mental health outcomes, the moderating effect of gender was tested. We created a multi-group model in AMOS to test the differences between males and females on the paths between mobile game addiction and its outcomes. The results show that significant gender differences exist considering the relationship between mobile game addiction and social anxiety. Male adolescents who used mobile game additively reported higher levels of social anxiety (β = 0.118, p < 0.001), depression (β = 0.280, p < 0.001), and loneliness (β = 0.311, p < 0.001), compared with female adolescents (β = 0.077, p < 0.001; β = 0.17, p < 0.01; and β = 0.16, p < 0.05, respectively; see Table 2 for details).

www.frontiersin.org

Table 2 . Multi-group (male and female) analysis on the relationship among mobile game addiction and depression, social anxiety, and loneliness.

The goal of this study was to examine the associations between mobile game addiction and depression, loneliness, social anxiety, and the potential gender difference in these associations were also investigated. The results revealed that adolescent with mobile game addiction had higher self-reported depression, social anxiety and loneliness, which have supported our three hypotheses regarding the association between mobile game addiction and depression, social anxiety, and loneliness. Further, gender difference was observed in the path between mobile game addiction and social anxiety, with male adolescents having a stronger association between mobile game addiction and social anxiety. This indicates that male adolescents may experience more social anxieties if they use mobile game addictively, compared with female adolescents.

As we expected, mobile game addiction was positively associated with depression, anxiety, and loneliness, which have supported all of our three hypotheses and are in line with prior findings. Literature has consistently shown that video game addicts reported more anxiety, depression, lower positive affect and psychological well-being. Literature has also shown that Internet addictions are related to poorer emotional health, in particular depression and anxiety ( 40 , 41 ). For instance, Whang et al. ( 41 ) found a significant association between degree of Internet addiction and loneliness and depression. Adolescents with high Internet use exhibited more psychopathology, as revealed by the Brief Symptoms Inventory (BSI, a reduced version of the Symptoms Checklist, SCL-90) compared with those with low those use ( 42 ). In a recent study, ( 4 ) reported that young adults addicted to video games showed increased depression and anxiety, and felt more socially isolated. The link between mobile game addiction and mental health may be due to the social isolation resulting from spending too much time gaming, which in turn leads to undermined psychological well-being ( 43 ). Our results regarding the association between mobile game addiction and loneliness are also in line with the displacement hypothesis in terms of Internet use, which argues that digital device users have spent most time in online settings, rather than offline, and their existing relationships have suffered as a result ( 44 ).

We also expected a gender difference considering the association between mobile game addiction and mental health outcomes. We found that males who were addicted to mobile games tended to suffer more social anxiety, loneliness, and social anxiety, compared with females. This finding is line with prior research (e.g., 24). Gender difference on social anxiety and loneliness has been widely reported in literature. Compared with female adolescents, male adolescents tended to lack social skills, were more socially withdrawn and disclosed less about themselves in offline communication settings ( 45 ). This is also a reason why males are more likely to be attracted to a virtual world like computer games since the online world is more comfortable and can offer more sense of security ( 46 ). This would further lead them to be more social isolated and experience more social anxiety, loneliness, and depression due to the lack of social bond in offline settings.

Limitations and future directions

The results of this study should be viewed in light of its limitations. First, this study is a cross-sectional design. Thus, we could not determine a causal link between study variables. Future investigations should adopt an experimental design to establish the causal relationship between variables, or a longitudinal design to examine the prospective relationship among the variables. As prior studies indicated, the association between mobile game addiction and mental health problems might be reciprocal. Second, the sample is a homogeneous group of students from a middle school in China. Whether the results can be generalized to all adolescents is a question for future research.

Despite the limitations, our study has examined the association between mobile game addiction and depression, social anxiety, and loneliness, based on an adolescent sample. The results indicated that mobile game addiction was positively related to these mental health problems, and this is especially true for male adolescents as they are more likely to experience a higher level of social anxiety, depression, and loneliness after excessive use of mobile gaming. Therefore, mental health educators and practicers should be aware of the negative effects caused by addictive mobile gaming, as this is such a common phenomenon today. Specifically, attention should be given to male adolescents who are addicted to mobile gaming, as they may suffer more social anxiety.

Data Availability

The datasets generated for this study are available on request to the corresponding author.

Ethics Statement

The studies involving human participants were reviewed and approved by Southwest University's Human Research Ethics Committee. Written informed consent to participate in this study was provided by the participants' legal guardian/next of kin.

Author Contributions

J-LW drafted the initial version of the manuscript and responded to the reviewers' comments. J-RS analyzed the data. H-ZW collected the data and provided the comments.

This study has been supported by the Major Cultivating Project in Southwest University (No. SWU1809006).

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

1. Su YS, Chiang WL, Lee CTJ, Chang HC. The effect of flow experience on player loyalty in mobile game application. Comput Hum Behav. (2016) 63:240–8. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.05.049

CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

2. China Internet Network Information Center. The 41th Statistical Report on the Development of Internet in China. (2018). Available online at: http://www.cnnic.net.cn/ (accessed October 30, 2018).

3. Kandell JJ. Internet addiction on campus: the vulnerability of college student. Cyber Psychol Behav. (1998) 1:11–8. doi: 10.1089/cpb.1998.1.11

4. Stockdale L, Coyne SM. Video game addiction in emerging adulthood :cross-sectional evidence of pathology in video game addicts as compared to matched healthy controls. J Affect Disord. (2018) 225:265–72. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.08.045

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

5. Sun Y, Zhao Y, Jia SQ, Zheng DY. Understanding the antecedents of mobile game addiction: the roles of perceived visibility, perceived enjoyment and flow. In: Proceedings of the 19th Pacific-Asia Conference on Information Systems. Singapore: Marian Bay Sands (2015). p. 1–12. Available online at: http://aisel.aisnet.org/pacis2015/141

Google Scholar

6. Sha P, Sariyska R, Riedl R, Lachmann B, Montag C. Linking Internet communication and smartphone use disorder by taking a closer look at the Facebook and WhatsApp applications. Addict Behav Rep. (2018) 9:100148. doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2018.100148

7. Lee C, Kim O. Predictors of online game addiction among Korean adolescents. Addict Res Theory. (2017) 25:58–66. doi: 10.1080/16066359.2016.1198474

8. Bozoglan B, Demirer V, Sahin I. Loneliness, self-esteem, and life satisfaction as predictors of Internet addiction: a cross-sectional study among Turkish university students. Scand J Psychol. (2013) 54:313–9. doi: 10.1111/sjop.12049

9. Ko C, Yen J, Chen C, Yeh Y, Yen C. Predictive values of psychiatric symptoms for Internet addiction in adolescents. JAMA Pediatrics. (2011) 163:937–43. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.159

10. Taylor S. (2017). The theoretical underpinnings of Internet addiction and its association with psychopathology in adolescence. Int J Adolesc Med Health . 2017:46. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2017-0046

11. Lawrence TL, Peng Z-W. Effect of pathological use of the Internet on adolescent mental health. JAMA Pediatrics . (2010) 164:901–6. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.159

12. Mccauley C. Video game play and anxiety during late adolescence: the moderating effects of gender and social context. J Affect Disord. (2018) 226:216–9. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.10.009

13. Liu L, Yao YW, Li CR, Zhang JT, Xia CC, Lan JT. The comorbidity between internet gaming disorder and depression: interrelationship and neural mechanisms. Front Psychiatry. (2018) 9:154. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00154

14. Wu AM, Chen JH, Tong KK, Yu S, Lau JT. Prevalence and associated factors of Internet gaming disorder among community dwelling adults in Macao, China. J Behav Addict. (2018) 7:62–9. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.12

15. King DL, Delfabbro PH, King DL. The cognitive psychopathology of Internet gaming disorder in adolescence. J Abnormal Child Psychol. (2016) 44:1635–45. doi: 10.1007/s10802-016-0135-y

16. Blazer D. Loneliness: a source book of current theory, research and therapy. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. (1983) 14:281. doi: 10.1016/0005-7916(83)90066-6

CrossRef Full Text

17. Spilkova J, Chomynova P, Csemy L. Predictors of excessive use of social media and excessive online gaming in Czech teenagers. J Behav Addict. (2017) 6:611–9. doi: 10.1556/2006.6.2017.064

18. Van Rooij AJ, Kuss DJ, Griffiths MD, Shorter GW, Schoenmakers TM, Van De Mheen D. The (co-) occurrence of problematic video gaming, substance use, and psychosocial problems in adolescents. J Behav Addict. (2014) 3:157–65. doi: 10.1556/JBA.3.2014.013

19. Lemmens JS, Valkenburg PM, Peter J. Development and validation of a game addiction scale for adolescents. Media Psychol. (2012) 12:77–95. doi: 10.1080/15213260802669458

20. Rapee RM, Heimberg RG. A cognitive-behavioral model of anxiety in social phobia. Behav Res Ther. (1997) 35:741–56. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7967(97)00022-3

21. Maldonado L, Huang Y, Chen R, Kasen S, Cohen P, Chen H. Impact of early adolescent anxiety disorders on self-esteem development from adolescence to young adulthood. J Adolesc Health. (2013) 53:287–92. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.02.025

22. Merikangas KR, He J, Burstein M, Swanson SA, Avenevoli S, Cui L, et al. (2010). Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry . 49:980–9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2010.05.017

23. Fayazi M, Hasani J. Structural relations between brain-behavioral systems, social anxiety, depression and internet addiction: with regard to revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (r-RST). Computers Human Behav. (2017) 72:441–8. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.02.068

24. Lo S, Wang C, Fang W. Physical interpersonal relationship and social anxiety among online game players. Cyber Psychol Behav. (2005) 8:15–20. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2005.8.15

25. Duven E, Beutel ME, Wolfling KJ. (2013). The neuroscience of internet and computer game addiction—what do we know about what is going on inside our patients brains? Eur Psychiatry. 28:818. doi: 10.1016/S0924-9338(13)75997-2

26. Yen C, Chou W, Liu T. The association of Internet addiction symptoms with anxiety, depression and self-esteem among adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Compr Psychiatry. (2014) 55:1601–8. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.05.025

27. Shi X, Wang J, Zou H. Family functioning and Internet addiction among Chinese adolescents: the mediating roles of self-esteem and loneliness. Computers Human Behav. (2017) 76:201–10. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.07.028

28. Beranuy M, Oberst U, Carbonell X, Chamarro A. Problematic Internet and mobile phone use and clinical symptoms in college students: the role of emotional intelligence. Computers Human Behav. (2009) 25:1182–7. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2009.03.001

29. Sheng J-R, Wang J-L. Development and psychometric properties of the problematic mobile video gaming scale. Curr Psyol. (2019) 20191–11. doi: 10.1007/s12144-019-00415-6

30. Derogatis LR, Melisaratos N. The brief symptom inventory: an introductory report. Psychol Med. (1983) 13:595–605. doi: 10.1017/S0033291700048017

31. Li X, Zou H, Liu Y. Psychometric evaluation of loneliness scale in Chinese middle school students. Chin J Clin Psychol. (2014) 22:731–60. doi: 10.16128/j.cnki.1005-3611.2014.04.037

32. La Greca AM, Lopez N. Social anxiety among adolescents: linkages with peer relations and friendships. J Abnormal Child Psychol. (1998) 26:83–94. doi: 10.1023/A:1022684520514

33. Snedecor GW, Cochran WG. Statistical Methods, 8th ed. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press (1989).

34. Lim TS, Loh WY. A comparison of tests of equality of variances. Comput Stat Data Anal. (1996) 22:287–301. doi: 10.1016/0167-9473(95)00054-2

35. George D, Mallery P. SPSS for Windows Step by Step: A Simple Guide and Reference, 11.0 Update, 4th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon (2003).

36. Johnson RA, Wichern DW. Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis, 5th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall (2006).

37. Harris J, Hagger MS. Do basic psychological needs moderate relationships within the theory of planned behavior? J Appl Biobehav Res. (2007) 12:43–64. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9861.2007.00013.x

38. Saxton T, Dollinger M. Target reputation and appropriability: picking and deploying resources in acquisitions. J Manag. (2004) 30:123–47. doi: 10.1016/j.jm.2003.01.006

39. Wu ML. Structural Equation Modeling: The Operation and Application of AMOS. Chongqing: Chongqing University Press (2009).

40. Bruchas MR, Schindler AG, Shankar H, Messinger DI, Miyatake M, Land BB, et al. Selective p38 a MAPK deletion in serotonergic neurons produces stress resilience in models of depression and addiction. Neuron. (2011) 71:498–511. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.06.011

41. Whang LS, Ph D, Lee S, Ph D, Chang G. Internet over-users' psychological profiles: a behavior sampling analysis on internet addiction. Cyber Psychol Behav. (2003) 6:143–51. doi: 10.1089/109493103321640338

42. Yen J, Ko C, Yen C, Chen S. Psychiatric symptoms in adolescents with Internet addiction : comparison with substance use. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. (2008) 62:9–16. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2007.01770.x

43. Kraut R, Patterson M, Lundmark V. Internet paradox: a social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being? Am Psychol. (1998) 53:1017–31. doi: 10.1037//0003-066X.53.9.1017

44. Wang J-L, Jackson LA, Zhang D-J. The mediator role of self-disclosure and moderator roles of gender and social anxiety in the relationship between Chinese adolescents' online communication and their real-world social relationships. Computers Human Behav. (2011) 27:2161–8. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2011.06.010

45. Schouten AP, Valkenburg PM, Peter J. Precursors and underlying processes of adolescents' online self-disclosure: developing and testing an “internet-attribute-perception” model. Media Psychol. (2007) 10:292–315. doi: 10.1080/15213260701375686

46. Caplan SE. Relations Among Loneliness, Social Anxiety, and Problematic Internet Use. Cyber Psychol Behav. (2007) 10:234–42. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2006.9963

Keywords: mobile game addiction, social anxiety, depression, loneliness, adolescents

Citation: Wang J-L, Sheng J-R and Wang H-Z (2019) The Association Between Mobile Game Addiction and Depression, Social Anxiety, and Loneliness. Front. Public Health 7:247. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00247

Received: 04 June 2019; Accepted: 16 August 2019; Published: 06 September 2019.

Reviewed by:

Copyright © 2019 Wang, Sheng and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Jin-Liang Wang, wjl200789@163.com

Disclaimer: All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings
  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List

Logo of brainsci

Internet and Gaming Addiction: A Systematic Literature Review of Neuroimaging Studies

In the past decade, research has accumulated suggesting that excessive Internet use can lead to the development of a behavioral addiction. Internet addiction has been considered as a serious threat to mental health and the excessive use of the Internet has been linked to a variety of negative psychosocial consequences. The aim of this review is to identify all empirical studies to date that used neuroimaging techniques to shed light upon the emerging mental health problem of Internet and gaming addiction from a neuroscientific perspective. Neuroimaging studies offer an advantage over traditional survey and behavioral research because with this method, it is possible to distinguish particular brain areas that are involved in the development and maintenance of addiction. A systematic literature search was conducted, identifying 18 studies. These studies provide compelling evidence for the similarities between different types of addictions, notably substance-related addictions and Internet and gaming addiction, on a variety of levels. On the molecular level, Internet addiction is characterized by an overall reward deficiency that entails decreased dopaminergic activity. On the level of neural circuitry, Internet and gaming addiction led to neuroadaptation and structural changes that occur as a consequence of prolonged increased activity in brain areas associated with addiction. On a behavioral level, Internet and gaming addicts appear to be constricted with regards to their cognitive functioning in various domains. The paper shows that understanding the neuronal correlates associated with the development of Internet and gaming addiction will promote future research and will pave the way for the development of addiction treatment approaches.

1. Introduction

In the past decade, research has accumulated suggesting that excessive Internet use can lead to the development of a behavioral addiction (e.g., [ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ]). Clinical evidence suggests that Internet addicts experience a number of biopsychosocial symptoms and consequences [ 5 ]. These include symptoms traditionally associated with substance-related addictions, namely salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, conflict, and relapse [ 6 ]. Internet addiction comprises a heterogeneous spectrum of Internet activities with a potential illness value, such as gaming, shopping, gambling, or social networking. Gaming represents a part of the postulated construct of Internet addiction, and gaming addiction appears to be the most widely studied specific form of Internet addiction to date [ 7 ]. Mental health professionals’ and researchers’ extensive proposals to include Internet addiction as mental disorder in the forthcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) will come to fruition as the American Psychiatric Association accepted to include Internet use disorder as mental health problem worthy of further scientific investigation [ 8 ].

The excessive use of the Internet has been linked to a variety of negative psychosocial consequences. These include mental disorders such as somatization, obsessive-compulsive and other anxiety disorders, depression [ 9 ], and dissociation [ 10 ], as well as personality traits and pathology, such as introversion and psychoticism [ 11 ]. Prevalence estimates range from 2% [ 12 ] to 15% [ 13 ], depending on the respective sociocultural context, sample, and assessment criteria utilized. Internet addiction has been considered as serious threat to mental health in Asian countries with extensive broadband usage, particularly South Korea and China [ 14 ].

1.1. The Rise of Neuroimaging

In accordance with Cartesian dualism, the French philosopher Descartes advocated the view that the mind is an entity that is separate from the body [ 15 ]. However, the cognitive neurosciences have proved him wrong and reconcile the physical entity of the body with the rather elusive entity of the mind [ 16 ]. Modern neuroimaging techniques link cognitive processes ( i.e. , Descartes’ thinking mind ) to actual behavior ( i.e. , Descartes’ moving body ) by measuring and picturing brain structure and activity. Altered activity in brain areas associated with reward, motivation, memory, and cognitive control has been associated with addiction [ 17 ].

Research has addressed the neural correlates of drug addiction development via classical and operant conditioning [ 18 , 19 ]. It has been found that during the initial stages of the voluntary and controlled usage of a substance, the decision to use the drug is made by specific brain regions, namely the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and ventral striatum (VS). As habituation to use and compulsion develops, brain activity changes in that the dorsal regions of the striatum (DS) become increasingly activated via dopaminergic innervation ( i.e. , dopamine release) [ 20 ]. Long term drug use leads to changes in the brain dopaminergic pathways (specifically the anterior cingulate (AC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) which may lead to a reduction of sensitivity to biological rewards and it decreases the individual’s control over seeking and eventually taking drugs. [ 21 , 22 ]. On a molecular level, the long-term depression (LTD; i.e. , the reduction) of synaptic activity has been linked to the adaptation of the brain as a result of substance-related addictions [ 23 ]. Drug addicts become sensitized to the drug because in the course of prolonged intake, the synaptic strength in the ventral tegmental area increases, and so does the LTD of glutamate in the nucleus accumbens, which will result in craving [ 24 ].

At the same time, the brain ( i.e. , NAc, OFC, DLPFC) becomes increasingly responsive to drug cues (e.g., availability, particular context) via craving [ 21 , 25 ]. Craving for drug use involves a complex interaction between a variety of brain regions. Activity in the nucleus accumbens following recurrent drug intake leads to learning associations between drug cues and the reinforcing effects of the drug [ 26 ]. In addition, the orbitofrontal cortex, important for the motivation to engage in behaviors, the amygdala (AMG) and the hippocampus (Hipp), as main brain regions associated with memory functions, play a role in intoxication and craving for a substance [ 17 ].

Natural rewards, such as food, praise, and/or success gradually lose their hedonic valence. Due to habituation to rewarding behaviors and intake of drugs, a characteristic addiction symptom develops ( i.e. , tolerance). Increasing amounts of the substance or increasing engagement in the respective behaviors are needed in order to produce the desired effect. As a result, the reward system becomes deficient. This leads to the activation of the antireward system that decreases the addict’s capacity for experiencing biological reinforcers as pleasurable. Instead, he requires stronger reinforcers, i.e. , their drug or behavior of choice, in larger amounts ( i.e. , tolerance develops) to experience reward [ 27 ]. In addition, the lack of dopamine in the mesocorticolimbic pathways during abstinence explains characteristic withdrawal symptoms. These will be countered with renewed drug intake [ 17 ]. Relapse and the development of a vicious behavioral cycle are the result [ 28 ]. Prolonged drug intake and/or engagement in a rewarding behavior leads to changes in the brain, including dysfunctions in prefrontal regions, such as the OFC and the cingulate gyrus (CG) [ 17 , 29 ].

Research indicates that brain activity alterations commonly associated with substance-related addictions occur following the compulsive engagement in behaviors, such as pathological gambling [ 30 ]. In line with this, it is conjectured that similar mechanisms and changes are involved in Internet and gaming addiction. The aim of this review is therefore to identify all peer-reviewed empirical studies to date that used neuroimaging techniques to shed light upon the emerging mental health problem of Internet and gaming addiction from a neuroscientific perspective. Neuroimaging broadly includes a number of distinct techniques. These are Electroencephalogram (EEG), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), SPECT Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI), such as Voxel-based Morphometry (VBM), and Diffusion-Tensor Imaging (DTI). These are briefly explained in turn before examining the studies that have utilized these techniques for studies on Internet and gaming addiction.

1.2. Types of Neuroimaging Used to Study Addictive Brain Activity

Electroencephalogram (EEG): With an EEG, neural activity in the cerebral cortex can be measured. A number of electrodes are fixed to specific areas ( i.e. , anterior, posterior, left and right) of the participant’s head. These electrodes measure voltage fluctuations ( i.e. , current flow) between pairs of electrodes that are produced by the excitation of neuronal synapses [ 31 ]. With event-related potentials (ERPs), the relationships between the brain and behavior can be measured via an electrophysiological neuronal response to a stimulus [ 32 ].

Positron Emission Tomography (PET): PET is a neuroimaging method that allows for the study of brain function on a molecular level. In PET studies, metabolic activity in the brain is measured via photons from positron emissions ( i.e. , positively charged electrons). The subjected is injected with a radioactive 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) solution that is taken up by active neurons in the brain. The amounts of 2-DG in neurons and positron emissions are used to quantify metabolic activity in the brain. Thus, neuronal activity can be mapped during the performance of a particular task. Individual neurotransmitters can be distinguished with PET, which makes the latter advantageous over MRI techniques. It can measure activity distribution in detail. Limitations to PET include relatively low spatial resolution, time needed to obtain a scan, as well as potential radiation risk [ 33 ].

Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT): SPECT is a subform of PET. Similar to PET, a radioactive substance (a “tracer”) is injected into the blood stream that rapidly travels to the brain. The stronger the metabolic activity in specific brain regions, the stronger the enrichment of gamma rays. The emitted radiation is measured in accordance with brain layers, and metabolic activity is imaged using computerized techniques. Unlike PET, SPECT allows for counting individual photons, however, its resolution is poorer because with SPECT, resolution depends on the proximity of the gamma camera that measures neuronal radioactivity [ 34 ].

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI): With fMRI, changes in the levels of blood oxygen in the brain are measured that are indicative of neuronal activity. Specifically, the ratio of oxyhemoglobin ( i.e. , hemoglobin that contains oxygen in the blood) to deoxyhemoglobin ( i.e. , hemoglobin that has released oxygen) in the brain is assessed because blood flow in “active” brain areas increases to transport more glucose, also bringing in more oxygenated hemoglobin molecules. The assessment of this metabolic activity in the brain allows for finer and more detailed imaging of the brain relative to structural MRI. In addition to this, the advantages of fMRI include speed of brain imaging, spatial resolution, and absence of potential health risk relative to PET scans [ 35 ].

Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (sMRI): sMRI uses a variety of techniques to image brain morphology [ 36 ]. One such technique is Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) . VBM is used to compare the volume of brain areas and the density of gray and white matter [ 37 ]. Another sMRI technique is Diffusion-Tensor Imaging (DTI) . DTI is a method used for picturing white matter. It assesses the diffusion of water molecules in the brain which helps to identify interconnected brain structures by using fractional anisotropy (FA). This measure is an indicator of fiber density, axonal diameter, and myelination in white matter [ 38 ].

A comprehensive literature search was conducted using the database Web of Knowledge . The following search terms (and their derivatives) were entered with regards to Internet use: “addiction”, “excess”, “problem”, and “compulsion”. Moreover, additional studies were identified from supplementary sources, such as Google Scholar , and these were added in order to generate a more inclusive literature review. Studies were selected in accordance with the following inclusion criteria. Studies had to (i) assess Internet or online gaming addiction or direct effects of gaming on neurological functioning, (ii) use neuroimaging techniques, (iii) be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and (iv) be available as full text in English language. No time period was specified for the literature search because neuroimaging techniques are relatively new, so that the studies were expected to be recent ( i.e. , almost all having been published between 2000 and 2012).

A total of 18 studies were identified that fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Of those, the method of data acquisition was fMRI in eight studies [ 39 , 40 , 41 , 42 , 43 , 44 , 45 , 46 ] and sMRI in two studies [ 47 , 48 ], two studies used PET scans [ 49 , 50 ], one of which combined it with an MRI [ 49 ], one used SPECT [ 51 ], and six studies utilized EEG [ 52 , 53 , 54 , 55 , 56 , 57 ]. It should also be noted that two of these were actually the same study with one published as a letter [ 53 ] and one published as a full paper [ 54 ]. One study [ 57 ] met all the criteria but was excluded because the diagnosis details of Internet addiction were insufficient to make valid conclusions. Furthermore, two studies did not directly assess Internet and gaming addiction [ 43 , 50 ], but assessed the direct effects of gaming on neurological activity using an experimental paradigm, and were therefore retained in the review. Detailed information on the included studies are presented in Table 1 .

Included studies.

3.1. fMRI Studies

Hoeft et al . [ 43 ] investigated gender differences in the mesocorticolimbic system during computer-game play among 22 healthy students (age range = 19–23 years; 11 females). All participants underwent fMRI (3.0-T Signa scanner (General Electric, Milwaukee, WI, USA), completed the Symptom Checklist 90-R [ 58 ], and the NEO-Personality Inventory-R [ 59 ]. FMRI was carried out during 40 blocks of either a 24-s ball game with the goal being to gain space or a similar control condition that did not include a specific game goal (as based on its structural makeup). Results indicated that there was an activation of neural circuitries that are involved in reward and addiction in the experimental condition ( i.e. , insula, NAc, DLPFC, and OFC). Consequently, the presence of an actual game goal (a characteristic of most conventional online games that are rule-based rather than pure role-playing games), modified brain activity via behavior. Here, a clear cause and effect relationship is evident, which adds strength to the findings.

Results also showed that male participants had a larger activation (in rNAc, blOFC, rAMG) and functional connectivity (lNAc, rAMG) in the mesocorticolimbic reward system when compared to females. The results furthermore indicated that playing the game activated the right insula (rI; signals autonomic arousal), right dorso-lateral PFC (maximize reward or change behavior), bilateral premotor cortices (blPMC; preparation for reward) and the precuneus, lNAc, and the rOFC (areas involved in visual processing, visuo-spatial attention, motor function, and sensori-motor transformation) compared to the resting state [ 43 ]. The insula has been implicated in conscious craving for addictive substances by implicating decision-making processes involving risk and reward. Insula dysfunction may explain neurological activities indicative of relapse [ 60 ]. Due to its experimental nature, this study was able to provide insight into idiosyncratic brain activation as a consequence of gaming in a healthy ( i.e. , non-addicted) population.

Ko et al . [ 44 ] attempted to identify the neural substrates of online gaming addiction by assessing brain areas involved in urge to engage in online games among ten male online gaming addicts (playing World of Warcraft for more than 30 h a week) compared to ten male controls (whose online use was less than two hours a day). All participants completed the Diagnostic Criteria for Internet Addiction for College Students (DCIA-C; [ 74 ]), the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview [ 75 ], the Chen Internet Addiction Scale (CIAS) [ 71 ], the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) [ 76 ], and the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) [ 77 ]. The authors presented gaming-related and paired mosaic pictures during fMRI scanning (3T MRscanner), and contrasts in BOLD signals in both conditions were analyzed using a cue reactivity paradigm [ 25 ]. The results indicated cue induced craving that is common among those with substance dependence. There was a dissimilar brain activation among gaming addicts following the presentation of game relevant cues as compared to controls and compared to the presentation of mosaic pictures, including the rOFC, rNAc, blAC, mFC, rDLPFC, and the right caudate nucleus (rCN). This activation correlated with gaming urge and a recalling of gaming experience. It was argued that there is a similar biological basis of different addictions including online gaming addiction. The quasi-experimental nature of this study that artificially induced craving in an experimental and controlled setting allowed the authors to make conclusions as based on group differences, and thus linking online gaming addiction status to the activation of brain areas associated with symptoms of more traditional ( i.e. , substance-related) addictions.

Han et al . [ 42 ] assessed the differences in brain activity before and during video game play in university students playing over a seven-week period. All participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory [ 78 ], the Internet Addiction Scale [ 67 ], and a 7-point visual analogue scale (VAS) to assess craving for Internet video game play. The sample comprised 21 university students (14 male; mean age = 24.1 years, SD = 2.6; computer use = 3.6, SD = 1.6 h a day; mean IAS score = 38.6, SD = 8.3). These were further divided into two groups: the excessive Internet gaming group (who played Internet video games for more than 60 min a day over a 42-day period; n = 6), and general player group (who played less than 60 min a day over the same period; n = 15). The authors used 3T blood oxygen level dependent fMRI (using Philips Achieva 3.0 Tesla TX scanner) and reported that brain activity in the anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortex increased among the excessive Internet game playing group following exposure to Internet video game cues relative to general players. They also reported that increased craving for Internet video games correlated with increased activity in the anterior cingulate for all participants. This quasi-experimental study is insightful for it not only offered evidence for a dissimilar brain activity in online gaming addicts compared to a general player control group, but it also elucidated brain activation that occurs as a consequence of playing in both groups. This indicates that (i) craving for online games alters brain activity irrespective of addiction status and might therefore be seen as a (prodromal) symptom of addiction, and that (ii) addicted players can be distinguished from non-addicted online gamers by a different form of brain activation.

Liu et al . [ 45 ] administered the regional homogeneity (ReHo) method to analyze encephalic functional characteristics of Internet addicts under resting state. The sample comprised 19 college students with Internet addiction and 19 controls. Internet addiction was assessed using Beard and Wolf’s criteria [ 72 ]. FMRI using 3.0T Siemens Tesla Trio Tim scanner was performed. Regional homogeneity indicates temporal homogeneity of brain oxygen levels in brain regions of interest. It was reported that Internet addicts suffered from functional brain changes leading to abnormalities in regional homogeneity relative to the control group, particularly concerning the reward pathways traditionally associated with substance addictions. Among Internet addicts, brain regions in ReHo in resting state were increased (cerebellum, brainstem, rCG, bilateral parahippocampus (blPHipp), right frontal lobe, left superior frontal gyrus (lSFG), right inferior temporal gyrus (rITG), left superior temporal gyrus (lSTG) and middle temporal gyrus (mTG)), relative to the control group. The temporal regions are involved in auditory processing, comprehension and verbal memory, whereas the occipital regions take care of visual processing. The cerebellum regulates cognitive activity. The cingulate gyrus pertains to integrating sensory information, and monitoring conflict. The hippocampi are involved in the brain’s mesocorticolimbic system that is associated with reward pathways. Taken together, these findings provide evidence for a change in a variety of brain regions as a consequence of Internet addiction. As this study assessed regional homogeneity under a resting state, it is unclear whether the changes in the brain observed in Internet addicts are a cause or consequence of the addiction. Therefore, no causal inferences can be drawn.

Yuan et al . [ 46 ] investigated the effects of Internet addiction on the microstructural integrity of major neuronal fiber pathways and microstructural changes associated with the duration of Internet addiction. Their sample comprised 18 students with Internet addiction (12 males; mean age = 19.4, SD = 3.1 years; mean online gaming = 10.2 h per day, SD = 2.6; duration of Internet addiction = 34.8 months, SD = 8.5), and 18 non-Internet addicted control participants (mean age = 19.5 years, SD = 2.8). All participants completed the Modified Diagnostic Questionnaire for Internet Addiction [ 72 ], a Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (no details provided), and a Self-Rating Depression Scale (no details provided). The authors employed fMRI and used the optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) technique. They analyzed white matter fractional anisotropy (FA) changes by using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to discern brain structural changes as a consequence of Internet addiction length. The results showed that Internet addiction resulted in changes in brain structure, and that the brain changes found appear similar to those found in substance addicts.

Controlling for age, gender, and brain volume, it was found that among Internet addicts there was decreased gray matter volume in the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), supplementary motor area (SMA), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), cerebellum and the left rostral ACC (rACC), an increased FA of the left posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC), and reduced FA in white matter in the right parahippocampal gyrus (PHG). There was also a correlation between gray matter volumes in DLPFC, rACC, SMA, and white matter FA changes of PLIC with the length of time the person had been addicted to the Internet. This indicates that the longer a person is addicted to the Internet, the more severe brain atrophy becomes. In light of the method, it is unclear from the authors’ description in how far their sample included those who were addicted to the Internet per se , or to playing games online. The inclusion of a specific question asking about the frequency and duration of online gaming (rather than any potential other Internet activity) suggests that the group in question consisted of gamers. In addition to this, the presented findings cannot exclude any other factor that may be associated with Internet addiction (e.g., depressive symptomatology) that may have contributed to the increased severity of brain atrophy.

Dong et al . [ 39 ] examined reward and punishment processing in Internet addicts compared to healthy controls. Adult males ( n = 14) with Internet addiction (mean age = 23.4, SD = 3.3 years) were compared to 13 healthy adult males (mean age = 24.1 years, SD = 3.2). Participants completed a structured psychiatric interview [ 79 ], the Beck Depression Inventory [ 78 ], the Chinese Internet Addiction Test [ 62 , 63 ], and the Internet Addiction Test (IAT; [ 61 ]). The IAT measures psychological dependence, compulsive use, withdrawal, related problems in school, work, sleep, family, and time management. Participants had to score over 80 (out of 100) on the IAT to be classed as having Internet addiction. Furthermore, all those classed as Internet addicts spent more than six hours online every day (excluding work-related Internet use) and had done so for a period of more than three months.

All the participants engaged in a reality-simulated guessing task for money gain or loss situation using playing cards. The participants underwent fMRI with stimuli presented through a monitor in the head coil, and their blood oxygen level dependence (BOLD) activation was measured in relation to wins and losses on the task. The results showed that Internet addiction was associated with increased activation in the OFC in gain trials, and decreased anterior cingulate activation in loss trials compared to normal controls. Internet addicts showed enhanced reward sensitivity and decreased loss sensitivity when compared with the control group [ 39 ]. The quasi-experimental nature of this study allowed for an actual comparison of the two groups by exposing them to a gaming situation and thus artificially inducing a neuronal reaction that was a consequence of the engagement in the task. Therefore, this study allowed for the extrication of a causal relationship between exposure to gaming cues and the resulting brain activation. This may be considered as empirical proof for reward sensitivity in Internet addicts relative to healthy controls.

Han et al . [ 40 ] compared regional gray matter volumes in patients with online gaming addiction and professional gamers. The authors carried out fMRI using a 1.5 Tesla Espree scanner (Siemens, Erlangen) and carried out a voxel-wise comparison of gray matter volume. All participants completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV [ 80 ], the Beck Depression Inventory [ 78 ], the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-Korean version (BIS-K9) [ 81 , 82 ], and the Internet Addiction Scale (IAS) [ 67 ]. Those (i) scoring over 50 (out of 100) on the IAS, (ii) playing for more than four hours per day/30 h per week, and (iii) impaired behavior or distress as a consequence of online game play were classed as Internet gaming addicts. The sample comprised three groups. The first group included 20 patients with online gaming addiction (mean age = 20.9, SD = 2.0; mean illness duration = 4.9 years, SD = 0.9; mean playing time = 9.0, SD = 3.7 h/day; mean Internet use = 13.1, SD = 2.9 h/day; mean IAS scores = 81.2, SD = 9.8). The second group was comprised of 17 professional gamers (mean age = 20.8 years, SD = 1.5; mean playing time = 9.4, SD = 1.6 h/day; mean Internet use = 11.6, SD = 2.1 h/day; mean IAS score = 40.8, SD = 15.4). The third group included 18 healthy controls (mean age = 12.1, SD = 1.1 years; mean gaming = 1.0, SD = 0.7 h/day; mean Internet use = 2.8, SD = 1.1 h/day; mean IAS score = 41.6, SD = 10.6).

The results showed that gaming addicts had higher impulsiveness, perseverative errors, increased volume in left thalamus gray matter, and decreased gray matter volume in ITG, right middle occipital gyrus (rmOG), and left inferior occipital gyrus (lIOG) relative to the control group. Professional gamers had increased gray matter volume in lCG, and decreased gray matter in lmOG and rITG relative to the control group, increased gray matter in lCG, and decreased left thalamus gray matter relative to the problem online gamers. The main differences between the gaming addicts and the professional gamers lay in the professional gamers’ increased gray matter volumes in lCG (important for executive function, salience, and visuospatial attention) and gaming addicts’ left thalamus (important in reinforcement and alerting) [ 40 ]. Based on the non-experimental nature of the study, it is difficult to attribute the evinced dissimilarities in brain structure across groups to the actual addiction status. Possible confounding variables cannot be excluded that may have contributed to the differences found.

Han et al . [ 41 ] tested the effects of bupropion sustained release treatment on brain activity among Internet gaming addicts and healthy controls. All participants completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV [ 80 ], the Beck Depression Inventory [ 78 ], the Internet Addiction Scale [ 61 ], and the Craving for Internet video game play was assessed with a 7-point visual analogue scale. Those participants who engaged in Internet gaming for more than four hours a day, scored more than 50 (out of 100) on the IAS, and had impaired behaviors and/or distress were classed as Internet gaming addicts. The sample comprised 11 Internet gaming addicts (mean age = 21.5, SD = 5.6 years; mean craving score = 5.5, SD = 1.0; mean playing time = 6.5, SD = 2.5 h/day; mean IAS score = 71.2, SD = 9.4), and 8 healthy controls (mean age = 11.8, SD = 2.1 years; mean craving score = 3.9, SD =1.1; mean Internet use = 1.9, SD = 0.6 h/day; mean IAS score = 27.1, SD = 5.3). During exposure to game cues, Internet gaming addicts had more brain activation in left occipital lobe cuneus, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and left parahippocampal gyrus relative to the control group. Participants with Internet gaming addiction underwent six weeks of bupropion sustained release treatment (150 mg/day for first week, and 300 mg/day afterwards). Brain activity was measured at baseline and after treatment using a 1.5 Tesla Espree fMRI scanner. The authors reported that bupropion sustained release treatment works for Internet gaming addicts in a similar way as it works for patients with substance dependence. After treatment, craving, play time, and cue-induced brain activity decreased among Internet gaming addicts. The longitudinal nature of this study allows for a determination of cause and effect, which emphasizes the validity and reliability of the presented findings.

3.2. sMRI Studies

Lin et al . [ 48 ] investigated white matter integrity in adolescents with Internet addiction. All participants completed a modified version of the Internet Addiction Test [ 72 ], the Edinburgh handedness inventory [ 83 ], the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview for Children and Adolescents (MINI-KID) [ 84 ], the Time Management Disposition Scale [ 85 ], the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale [ 86 ], the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) [ 87 ], and the Family Assessment Device (FAD) [ 88 ]. The sample comprised 17 Internet addicts (14 males; age range = 14–24 years; IAS mean score = 37.0, SD = 10.6), and 16 healthy controls (14 males; age range = 16–24 years; IAS mean score = 64.7, SD = 12.6). The authors carried out a whole brain voxel-wise analysis of fractional anisotropy (FA) by tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS), and volume of interest analysis was performed using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) via a 3.0-Tesla Phillips Achieva medical scanner.

The results indicated that the OFC was associated with emotional processing and addiction-related phenomena (e.g., craving, compulsive behaviors, maladaptive decision-making). Abnormal white matter integrity in the anterior cingulate cortex was linked to different addictions, and indicated an impairment in cognitive control. The authors also reported impaired fiber connectivity in the corpus callosum that is commonly found in those with substance dependence. Internet addicts showed lower FA throughout the brain (orbito-frontal white matter corpus callosum, cingulum, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, corona radiation, internal and external capsules) relative to controls, and there were negative correlations between FA in the left genu of corpus callosum and emotional disorders, and FA in the left external capsule and Internet addiction. Overall, Internet addicts had abnormal white matter integrity in brain regions linked to emotional processing, executive attention, decision-making and cognitive control compared to the control group. The authors highlighted similarities in brain structures between Internet addicts and substance addicts [ 48 ]. Given the non-experimental and cross-sectional nature of the study, alternative explanations for brain alterations other than addiction cannot be excluded.

Zhou et al . [ 47 ] investigated brain gray matter density (GMD) changes in adolescents with Internet addiction using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis on high-resolution T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance images. Their sample comprised 18 adolescents with Internet addiction (16 males; mean age = 17.2 years, SD = 2.6), and 15 healthy control participants with no history of psychiatric illness (13 males; mean age = 17.8 years, SD = 2.6). All participants completed the modified Internet Addiction Test [ 72 ]. The authors used high-resolution T1-weighted MRIs performed on a 3T MR scanner (3T Achieva Philips), scanned MPRAGE pulse sequences for gray and white matter contrasts, and VBM analysis was used to compare GMD between groups. Results showed that Internet addicts had lower GMD in the lACC (necessary for motor control, cognition, motivation), lPCC (self-reference), left insula (specifically related to craving and motivation), and the left lingual gyrus ( i.e. , areas that are linked to emotional behavior regulation and thus linked to emotional problems of Internet addicts). The authors state that their study provided neurobiological proof for structural brain changes in adolescents with Internet addiction, and that their findings have implications for the development of addiction psychopathology. Despite the differences found between the groups, the findings cannot exclusively be attributed to the addiction status of one of the groups. Possible confounding variables may have had an influence on brain changes. Moreover, the directionality of the relationship cannot be explained with certainty in this case.

3.3. EEG Studies

Dong et al . [ 53 ] investigated response inhibition among Internet addicts neurologically. The recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) via EEG were examined in 12 male Internet addicts (mean age = 20.5 years, SD = 4.1) and compared with 12 healthy control university students (mean age = 20.2, SD = 4.5) while undergoing a go/NoGo task. The participants completed psychological tests ( i.e. , Symptom Checklist-90 and 16 Personal Factors scale [ 89 ]) and the Internet Addiction Test [ 65 ]. The results showed that Internet addicts had lower NoGo-N2 amplitudes (representing response inhibition—conflict monitoring), higher NoGo-P3 amplitudes (inhibitory processes—response evaluation), and longer NoGo-P3 peak latency when compared to controls. The authors concluded that compared to the control group, Internet addicts (i) had lower activation in conflict detection stage, (ii) used more cognitive resources to complete the later stage of the inhibition task, (iii) were less efficient at information processing, and (iv) had lower impulse control.

Dong et al . [ 52 ] compared Internet addicts and healthy controls on event-related potentials (ERP) via EEG while they were performing a color-word Stroop task. Male participants ( n = 17; mean age = 21.1 years, SD = 3.1) and 17 male healthy university students (mean age = 20.8 years, SD = 3.5) completed psychological tests ( i.e. , the Symptom Checklist-90 and the 16 Personal Factors scale [ 89 ]) and the Internet Addiction Test [ 64 ]. This version of the IAT included eight items (preoccupation, tolerance, unsuccessful abstinence, withdrawal, loss of control, interests, deception, escapism motivation) and the items were scored dichotomously. Those participants who endorsed four or more items were classed as Internet addicts. Results showed that Internet addicts had a longer reaction time and more response errors in incongruent conditions compared to controls. The authors also reported reduced medial frontal negativity (MFN) deflection in incongruent conditions than controls. Their findings suggested that Internet addicts have impaired executive control ability compared to controls.

Ge et al . [ 55 ] investigated the association between the P300 component and Internet addiction disorder among 86 participants. Of these, 38 were Internet addiction patients (21 males; mean age = 32.5, SD = 3.2 years) and 48 were healthy college student controls (25 males; mean age = 31.3, SD = 10.5 years). In an EEG study, P300 ERP was measured using a standard auditory oddball task using the American Nicolet BRAVO instrument. All participants completed the Structured Clinical Diagnostic Interview for Mental Disorders [ 80 ], and the Internet Addiction Test [ 64 ]. Those who endorsed five or more (of the eight items) were classed as Internet addicts. The study found that Internet addicts had longer P300 latencies relative to the control group, and that Internet addicts had similar profiles as compared to other substance-related addicts ( i.e. , alcohol, opioid, cocaine) in similar studies. However, the results did not indicate that Internet addicts had a deficiency in perception speed and auditory stimuli processing. This appears to indicate that rather than being detrimental to perception speed and auditory stimuli processing, Internet addiction may have no effect on these specific brain functions. The authors also reported that the cognitive dysfunctions associated with Internet addiction can be improved via cognitive-behavioral therapy and that those who participated in cognitive-behavioral therapy for three months decreased their P300 latencies. The final longitudinal result is particularly insightful because it assessed the development over time that may be attributed to the beneficial effects of therapy.

Little et al . [ 56 ] investigated error-processing and response inhibition in excessive gamers. All participants completed the Videogame Addiction Test (VAT) [ 73 ], the Dutch version of the Eysenck Impulsiveness Questionnaire [ 90 , 91 ], and the Quantity-Frequency-Variability Index for alcohol consumption [ 92 ]. The sample comprised 52 students grouped into two groups of 25 excessive gamers (23 males; scoring more than 2.5 on VAT; mean age = 20.5, SD = 3.0 years; mean VAT score = 3.1, SD = 0.4; average gaming = 4.7 h a day, SD = 2.3) and 27 controls (10 males; mean age = 21.4, SD = 2.6; mean Vat score = 1.1, SD = 0.2; average gaming = 0.5 h a day, SD = 1.2). The authors used a Go/NoGo paradigm using EEG and ERP recordings. Their findings indicated similarities with substance dependence and impulse control disorders in relation to poor inhibition and high impulsivity in excessive gamers relative to the control group. They also reported that excessive gamers had reduced fronto-central ERN amplitudes following incorrect trials in comparison to correct trials and that this led to poor error-processing. Excessive gamers also displayed less inhibition on both self-report and behavioral measures. The strength of this study include its quasi-experimental nature as well as the verification of self-reports with behavioral data. Therefore, validity and reliability of the findings are increased.

3.4. SPECT Studies

Hou et al . [ 51 ] examined reward circuitry dopamine transporter levels in Internet addicts compared to a control group. The Internet addicts comprised five males (mean age = 20.4, SD = 2.3) whose mean daily Internet use was 10.2 h (SD = 1.5) and who had suffered from Internet addiction for more than six years. The age-matched control group comprised nine males (mean age = 20.4, SD = 1.1 years), whose mean daily use was 3.8 h (SD = 0.8 h). The authors performed 99mTc-TRODAT-1 single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain scans using Siemens Diacam/e.cam/icon double detector SPECT. They reported that reduced dopamine transporters indicated addiction and that there were similar neurobiological abnormalities with other behavioral addictions. They also reported that striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) levels decreased among Internet addicts (necessary for regulation of striatal dopamine levels) and that volume, weight, and uptake ratio of the corpus striatum were reduced relative to controls. Dopamine levels were reported to be similar to people with substance addictions and that Internet addiction “may cause serious damages to the brain” ([ 51 ], p. 1). This conclusion cannot be seen as entirely accurate for the directionality of the reported effect cannot be established with the utilized method.

3.5. PET Studies

Koepp et al . [ 50 ] were the first research team to provide evidence for striatal dopamine release during video game play ( i.e. , a game navigating a tank for monetary incentive). In their study, eight male video game players (age range = 36–46 years) underwent positron emission tomography (PET) during video game play and under resting condition. The PET scans employed a 953B-Siemens/CTIPET camera, and a region-of-interest (ROI) analysis was performed. Extracellular dopamine levels were measured via differences in [ 11 C]RAC-binding potential to dopamine D 2 receptors in ventral and dorsal striata. The results showed that ventral and dorsal striata were associated with goal-directed behavior. The authors also reported that the change of binding potential during video game play was similar to that following amphetamine or methylphenidate injections. In light of this, the earliest study included in this review [ 50 ] was already able to highlight changes in neurochemical activity as a consequence of gaming relative to a resting control. This finding is of immense significance because it clearly indicates that the activity of gaming can in fact be compared to using psychoactive substances when viewed from a biochemical level.

Kim et al . [ 49 ] tested whether Internet addiction was associated with reduced levels of dopaminergic receptor availability in the striatum. All participants completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV [ 80 ], the Beck Depression Inventory [ 93 ], the Korean Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale [ 94 ], the Internet Addiction Test [ 69 ] and the Internet Addictive Disorder Diagnostic Criteria (IADDC; [ 68 ]). Internet addiction was defined as those participants who scored more than 50 (out of 100) on the IAT, and endorsed three or more of the seven criteria on the IADDC.

Their sample comprised five male Internet addicts (mean age = 22.6, SD = 1.2 years; IAT mean score = 68.2, SD = 3.7; mean daily Internet hours = 7.8, SD = 1.5) and seven male controls (mean age = 23.1, SD = 0.7 years; IAT mean score = 32.9, SD = 5.3; mean daily Internet hours = 2.1, SD = 0.5). The authors carried out a PET study and used a radiolabeled ligand [ 11 C]raclopride and positron emission tomography via ECAT EXACT scanner to test dopamine D 2 receptor binding potential. They also performed fMRI using a General Electric Signa version 1.5T MRI scanner. The method for assessing D 2 receptor availability examined regions of interest (ROI) analysis in ventral striatum, dorsal caudate, dorsal putamen. The authors reported that Internet addiction was found to be related to neurobiological abnormalities in the dopaminergic system as found in substance-related addictions. It was also reported that Internet addicts had reduced dopamine D 2 receptor availability in the striatum ( i.e. , bilateral dorsal caudate, right putamen) relative to the controls, and that there was a negative correlation of dopamine receptor availability with Internet addiction severity [ 49 ]. However, from this study it is unclear to what extent Internet addiction may have caused the differences in neurochemistry relative to any other confounding variable, and, similarly, whether it is the different neurochemistry that may have led to the pathogenesis.

4. Discussion

The results of the fMRI studies indicate that brain regions associated with reward, addiction, craving, and emotion are increasingly activated during game play and presentation of game cues, particularly for addicted Internet users and gamers, including the NAc, AMG, AC, DLPFC, IC, rCN, rOFC, insula, PMC, precuneus [ 42 , 43 ]. Gaming cues appeared as strong predictors of craving in male online gaming addicts [ 44 ]. Moreover, it was shown that associated symptoms, such as craving, gaming cue-induced brain activity, and cognitive dysfunctions can be reduced following psychopharmacological or cognitive-behavioral treatment [ 41 , 55 ].

In addition to this, structural changes have been demonstrated in Internet addicts relative to controls, including the cerebellum, brainstem, rCG, blPHipp, right frontal lobe, lSFG, rITG, lSTG, and mTG. Specifically, these regions appeared to be increased and calibrated, indicating that in Internet addicts, neuroadaptation occurs that synchronizes a variety of brain regions. These include, but are not limited to, the widely reported mesocorticolimbic system involved in reward and addiction. In addition, Internet addicts’ brains appear to be able to integrate sensorimotor and perceptual information better [ 45 ]. This may be explained by a frequent engagement with Internet applications such as games, which require a stronger connectivity between brain regions in order for learned behaviors and reactions to addiction-relevant cues to occur automatically.

Furthermore, compared to controls, Internet addicts were found to have decreased gray matter volume in the blDLPFC, SMA, OFC, cerebellum, ACC, lPCC, increased FA lPLIC, and decreased FA in white matter in the PHG [ 46 ]. The lACC is necessary for motor control, cognition, and motivation, and its decreased activation has been linked to cocaine addiction [ 95 ]. The OFC is involved in processing emotions and it plays a role in craving, maladaptive decision-making processes, as well as the engagement in compulsive behaviors, each of which are integral to addiction [ 96 ]. Moreover, the length of Internet addiction correlated with changes in DLPFC, rACC, SMA, and PLIC, testifying to the increase of brain atrophy severity over time [ 46 ]. The DLPFC, rACC, ACC, and PHG have been linked to self-control [ 22 , 25 , 44 ], whereas the SMA mediates cognitive control [ 97 ]. Atrophy in these regions can explain the loss of control an addict experiences in regards to his drug or activity of choice. The PCC, on the other hand, is important in mediating emotional processes and memory [ 98 ], and a decrease in its gray matter density may be indicative of abnormalities associated with these functions.

The increase of the internal capsule has been linked to motor hand function and motor imagery [ 99 , 100 ], and can possibly be explained by the frequent engagement in computer games, that requires and significantly improves eye-hand coordination [ 101 ]. Moreover, decreased fiber density and white matter myelination as measured with FA were found in the anterior limb of the internal capsule, external capsule, corona radiation, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and precentral gyrus in Internet addicts relative to healthy controls [ 48 ]. Similar white matter abnormalities have been reported in other substance-related addictions [ 102 , 103 ]. Similarly, fiber connectivity in the corpus callosum was found to be decreased in Internet addicts relative to healthy controls, which indicates that Internet addiction may have similar degenerative consequences with regards to links between the hemispheres. These findings are in accordance with those reported in substance-related addictions [ 104 ].

Moreover, there appeared gender differences in activation in such a way that for males, the activation and connectivity of brain regions associated with the mesocorticolimbic reward system were stronger relative to females. This may explain the significantly higher vulnerability for males to develop an addiction to gaming and the Internet that has been reported in reviews of the empirical literature ( i.e. , [ 7 , 105 ]).

In addition to the MRI findings, the EEG studies assessing Internet and gaming addiction to date offer a variety of important findings that may help in understanding behavioral and functional correlates of this emergent psychopathology. In addition to this, the experimental nature of all of the included EEG studies allows for the determination of a causal relationship between the assessed variables. It has been shown that compared to controls, Internet addicts had decreased P300 amplitudes and an increased P300 latency. Typically, this amplitude reflects attention allocation. The differences in amplitude between Internet addicts and controls indicate that either Internet addicts have an impaired capacity for attention or they are not able to allocate attention adequately [ 55 , 57 ]. Small P300 amplitudes have been associated with genetic vulnerability for alcoholism in a meta-analysis [ 106 ]. Decreased P300 latency furthermore was found to distinguish heavy social drinkers from low social drinkers [ 107 ]. Accordingly, there appears to be a common change in neuronal voltage fluctuations in persons addicted to substances and the engagement in Internet use relative to people who are not addicted. Accordingly, Internet addiction appears to have an effect on neuroelectric functioning that is similar to substance addictions. Generally, Internet addicts’ brains appeared to be less efficient with regards to information processing and response inhibition relative to healthy control participants’ brains [ 54 , 56 ]. This indicates that Internet addiction is associated with low impulse control, and the use of an increased amount of cognitive resources in order to complete specific tasks [ 53 ]. Furthermore, Internet addicts appear to have an impaired executive control ability relative to controls [ 56 , 53 ]. These results are in accordance with reduced executive control ability found in cocaine addicts, implicating decreased activity in pre- and midfrontal brain regions that would allow for impulse-driven actions [ 108 ].

From a biochemical point of view, the results of PET studies provide evidence for striatal dopamine release during gaming [ 50 ]. Frequent gaming and Internet use were shown to decrease dopamine levels (due to decreased dopamine transporter availability) and lead to neurobiological dysfunctions in the dopaminergic system in Internet addicts [ 49 , 51 ]. The decreased availability was linked with the severity of Internet addiction [ 49 ]. Reduced dopamine levels have been reported in addictions time and again [ 26 , 109 , 110 ]. Furthermore, structural abnormalities of the corpus striatum have been reported [ 51 ]. Damages to the corpus striatum have been associated with heroin addiction [ 111 ].

The studies included in this literature review appear to provide compelling evidence for the similarities between different types of addictions, notably substance-related addictions and Internet addiction, on a variety of levels. On the molecular level, it has been shown that Internet addiction is characterized by an overall reward deficiency that is characterized by decreased dopaminergic activity. The direction of this relationship is yet to be explored. Most studies could not exclude that an addiction develops as a consequence of a deficient reward system rather than vice versa. The possibility that deficits in the reward system predispose certain individuals to develop a drug or a behavioral addiction such as Internet addiction may put an individual at greater risk for psychopathology. In Internet addicts, negative affectivity can be considered the baseline state, where the addict is preoccupied with using the Internet and gaming to modify his mood. This is brought about by the activation of the antireward system. Due to the excessive use of the Internet and online gaming, opponent processes appear to be set in motion that quickly habituate the addict to the engagement with the Internet, leading to tolerance, and, if use is discontinued, withdrawal [ 27 ]. Accordingly, decreased neuronal dopamine as evinced in Internet addiction may be linked to commonly reported comorbidities with affective disorders, such as depression [ 112 ], bipolar disorder [ 113 ], and borderline personality disorder [ 10 ].

On the level of neural circuitry, neuroadaptation occurs as a consequence of increased brain activity in brain areas associated with addiction and structural changes as a consequence of Internet and gaming addiction. The cited studies provide a clear picture of Internet and gaming addiction pathogenesis and stress how maladaptive behavioral patterns indicative of addiction are maintained. The brain adapts to frequent use of drugs or engagement in addictive behaviors so that it becomes desensitized to natural reinforcers. Importantly, functioning and structure of the OFC and cingulate gyrus are altered, leading to increased drug or behavior salience and loss of control over behaviors. Learning mechanisms and increased motivation for consumption/engagement result in compulsive behaviors [ 114 ].

On a behavioral level, Internet and gaming addicts appear to be constricted with regards to their impulse control, behavioral inhibition, executive functioning control, attentional capabilities, and overall cognitive functioning. In turn, certain skills are developed and improved as a consequence of frequent engagement with the technology, such as the integration of perceptual information into the brain via the senses, and hand-eye coordination. It appears that the excessive engagement with the technology results in a number of advantages for players and Internet users, however to the detriment of fundamental cognitive functioning.

Taken together, the research presented in this review substantiates a syndrome model of addictions for there appear to be neurobiological commonalities in different addictions [ 115 ]. According to this model, neurobiology and psychosocial context increase the risk to become addicted. The exposure to the addictive drug or behavior and specific negative events and/or the continued use of the substance and engagement in the behavior leads to behavioral modification. The consequence is the development of full-blown addictions, that are different in expression (e.g., cocaine, the Internet and gaming), but similar in symptomatology [ 115 ], i.e. , mood modification, salience, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse [ 6 ].

Notwithstanding the insightful results reported, a number of limitations need to be addressed. First, there appear methodological problems that may decrease the strength of the reported empirical findings. The reported brain changes associated with Internet and online gaming addiction described in this review may be explained in two different ways. On the one hand, one could argue that Internet addiction leads to brain alterations relative to controls. On the other hand, people with unusual brain structures (as the ones observed in the present study) may be particularly predisposed to developing addictive behaviors. Only experimental studies will allow a determination of cause and effect relationships. Given the sensitive nature of this research that essentially assesses potential psychopathology, ethical considerations will limit the possibilities of experimental research in the field. In order to overcome this problem, future researchers should assess brain activity and brain alterations on a number of occasions during a person’s life longitudinally. This would allow for the extrication of invaluable information with regards to the relationships of pathogenesis and related brain changes in a more elaborate and, importantly, causal fashion.

Secondly, this review included neuroimaging studies of both Internet addicts and online gaming addicts. Based on the collected evidence, it appears difficult to make any deductions as regards the specific activities the addicts engaged in online, other than some authors specifically addressing online gaming addiction. Others, on the other hand, used the categories Internet addiction and Internet gaming addiction almost interchangeably, which does not allow for any conclusions with regards to differences and similarities between the two. In light of this, researchers are advised to clearly assess the actual behaviors engaged in online, and, if appropriate, extend the notion of gaming to other potentially problematic online behaviors. Ultimately, people do not become addicted to the medium of the Internet per sé, but it is rather the activities that they engage in that may be potentially problematic and could lead to addictive online behavior.

5. Conclusions

This review aimed to identify all empirical studies to date that have used neuroimaging techniques in order to discern the neuronal correlates of Internet and gaming addiction. There are relatively few studies ( n = 19), and therefore it is crucial to conduct additional studies to replicate the findings of those already carried out. The studies to date have used both structural and functional paradigms. The use of each of these paradigms allows for the extrication of information that is crucial for establishing altered neuronal activity and morphology as precipitated by Internet and gaming addiction. Overall, the studies indicate that Internet and gaming addiction is associated with both changes in function as well as structure of the brain. Therefore, not only does this behavioral addiction increase the activity in brain regions commonly associated with substance-related addictions, but it appears to lead to neuroadaptation in such a way that the brain itself actually changes as a consequence of excessive engagement with the Internet and gaming.

In terms of the method, neuroimaging studies offer an advantage over traditional survey and behavioral research because, using these techniques, it is possible to distinguish particular brain areas that are involved in the development and maintenance of addiction. Measurements of increased glutamatergic and electrical activity give insight into brain functioning, whereas measures of brain morphometry and water diffusion provide an indication of brain structure. It has been shown that each of these undergoes significant changes as a consequence of Internet and gaming addiction.

To conclude, understanding the neuronal correlates associated with the development of addictive behaviors related to using the Internet and playing online games will promote future research and will pave the way for the development of addiction treatment approaches. In terms of clinical practice, increasing our knowledge regarding the pathogenesis and maintenance of Internet and gaming addiction is essential for the development of specific and effective treatments. These include psychopharmacological approaches that target Internet and gaming addiction specifically on the level of biochemistry and neurocircuitry, as well as psychological strategies, that aim to modify learned maladaptive cognitive and behavioral patterns.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Academia.edu no longer supports Internet Explorer.

To browse Academia.edu and the wider internet faster and more securely, please take a few seconds to  upgrade your browser .

Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link.

  • We're Hiring!
  • Help Center

paper cover thumbnail

THE CAUSES OF ONLINE GAMES ADDICTION

Profile image of Azim Arshad

Related Papers

vhieve brinas

research paper about online games addiction pdf

Janz Gamboa

Video-game playing is popular among college students. Cognitive and negative consequences have been studied frequently. However, little is known about the influence of gaming behavior on IT college students' academic performance. An increasing number of college students take online courses, use social network websites for social interactions, and play video games online. To analyze the relationship between college students' gaming behavior and their academic performance, a research model is proposed and a survey study is conducted. The study result of a multiple regression analysis shows that self-control capability, social interaction using face-to-face or phone communications, and playing video games using a personal computer make statistically significant contributions to the IT college students' academic performance measured by GPA.

Francis Jesoro

Pearldyne Ibanez

This paper focuses on the impact of online games among Malaysian undergraduate students. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether online games (especially MMOGs) impacted students positively or vice versa; focusing on three elements (time management, social life and emotion). A total of 83 respondents comprised from 14 Malaysia universities, randomly selected undergraduate students who plays MMOGs (casual and hard core gamers – addiction to MMOGs) were involved in this study. The results showed that only students' capability in time management were negatively affected, meanwhile as for the elements social life and emotion, MMOGs do not affected them negatively.

Michele Zorrilla Cabeen

To answer the question “Are video games good or bad?,” three areas of video game research are looked at. First, support for the idea that violent video games increase aggression is explored followed by research contradicting the idea. Second, research concerning benefits of playing video games is explored. Third, research supporting the idea of video game addiction is explored followed by research contradicting the idea and cautioning against the addiction label. Following the exploration of research, the author provides recommendations taken from other scholarly articles in the case of individual concern and the possibility of negative effects of video game play.

Marielle San Pedro

This study entitled, “Online Gaming: Influence on the Social Behavior and Psychological Well-being”, discusses on the effects caused by the practice of online gaming to the students’ social and psychological behavior. It will center on the relationship of gaming engagement to the interpersonal social behavior of gamers and the influence it has to psychological well-being. The main purpose of this research is to determine how online gaming influences the social behavior and psychological well-being of students by measuring their perceived gaming engagement, social behavior and psychological well-being. In order to test the hypothesis, 230 grade 12 ENGTECH and ACCESS students from Baliuag University participated in this study. Descriptive-correlational design was used in this study with the help of SPSS statistics. To test the significance of input and output variables, Pearson r Correlation analysis and Independent Sample T-test were used. Based on the findings, online gaming has a positive relationship with social behavior. Online games can also be an avenue of socially interacting with other people. It was also found that playing online games can help improve one’s psychological well-being if done moderately.

Mark D Griffiths

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a popular form of entertainment used by millions of gamers worldwide. Potential problems relating to MMORPG play have emerged, particu- larly in relation to being addicted to playing in such virtual environments. In the present study, factors relating to online gaming addiction and motivations for playing in MMORPGs were examined to establish whether they were associated with addiction. A sample comprised 1167 gamers who were surveyed about their gaming motivations. Latent Class Analysis revealed seven classes of motivations for playing MMORPGs, which comprised: (1) novelty; (2) highly social and discovery-orientated; (3) aggressive, anti-social and non-curious; (4) highly social, competitive; (5) low intensity enjoyment; (6) discovery- orientated; and (7) social classes. Five classes of gaming addiction-related experiences were extracted including: (1) high risk of addiction, (2) time-affected, (3) intermediate risk of addiction, (4) emotional control, and (5) low risk of addiction classes. Gender was a significant predictor of intermediate risk of addiction and emotional control class membership. Membership of the high risk of addiction class was significantly predicted by belonging to a highly social and competitive class, a novelty class, or an aggres- sive, anti-social, and non-curious class. Implications of these findings for assessment and treatment of MMORPG addiction are discussed.

Computers in Human Behavior

Glenn Williams

Zaheer Hussain , GA Williams

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a popular form of entertainment used by millions of gamers worldwide. Potential problems relating to MMORPG play have emerged, particularly in relation to being addicted to playing in such virtual environments. In the present study, factors relating to online gaming addiction and motivations for playing in MMORPGs were examined to establish whether they were associated with addiction. A sample comprised 1,167 gamers who were surveyed about their gaming motivations. Latent Class Analysis revealed seven classes of motivations for playing MMORPGs, which comprised: (1) novelty; (2) highly social and discovery-orientated; (3) aggressive, anti-social and non-curious; (4) highly social, competitive; (5) low intensity enjoyment; (6) discovery-orientated; and (7) social classes. Five classes of gaming addiction-related experiences were extracted including: (1) high risk of addiction, (2) time-affected, (3) intermediate risk of addiction, (4) emotional control, and (5) low risk of addiction classes. Gender was a significant predictor of intermediate risk of addiction and emotional control class membership. Membership of the high risk of addiction class was significantly predicted by belonging to a highly social and competitive class, a novelty class, or an aggressive, anti-social, and non-curious class. Implications of these findings for assessment and treatment of MMORPG addiction are discussed.

RELATED PAPERS

Yogies Bracket

Figures d’empire, fragments de mémoire

OSTI OAI (U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information)

Anthoney Griffith

Nonconventional Technologies Review

Emilia Binchiciu

Joerg Wollenberg

Ingeniería del agua

Miguel Angel Sanchez Ortega

Haydee Sanchez

davinder kaur

Anesthesia &amp; Analgesia

charles hoopes

Hidayet Taga

Neurochemistry International

Mirko Diksic

Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery

TOYE OLAJIDE

Dror Avisar

The Journal of Pediatrics

Irene L Hudson

Shivam Gupta

Proceedings of the International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management

Sheila Mae Carungay

International Journal of Materials Technology and Innovation (Online)

Journal of Immunology

Salvatore Coniglio

eric spinnler

SSRN Electronic Journal

IMPACT Printmaking Journal

Alan Litchfield

RELATED TOPICS

  •   We're Hiring!
  •   Help Center
  • Find new research papers in:
  • Health Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Cognitive Science
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Academia ©2024

IMAGES

  1. Effects of Video Game Addiction Free Essay Example

    research paper about online games addiction pdf

  2. (PDF) COMPUTER GAME ADDICTION: A FIELD STUDY ON ADOLESCENTS

    research paper about online games addiction pdf

  3. (PDF) Perception and addiction of online games as a function of

    research paper about online games addiction pdf

  4. (PDF) Internet gaming addiction: Current perspectives

    research paper about online games addiction pdf

  5. (DOC) CHAPTER 1 (EFFECTS ONLINE GAMES ADDICTION) SUBMITTED BY

    research paper about online games addiction pdf

  6. Effects Of Online Games To Students Research Paper Pdf

    research paper about online games addiction pdf

VIDEO

  1. Online Games Addiction ( Ethical IT Advocacy in PROFI

  2. Gaming Addiction

  3. Free Video Course: How to Write an Argumentative Essay (WRIT 1001H)

  4. WRIT 1002H: How to Write an Argumentative Essay with Ryan Newman

  5. Game Addiction

  6. DIY game board for my students / How to create educational games for students? #shorts #games

COMMENTS

  1. (PDF) The Impact of Online Game Addiction on Adolescent Mental Health

    ... The results of this study revealed that game addiction affects various aspects of a person's anxiety, be it physical, psychological, social, or academic.

  2. PDF An Investigation Of High School Students' Online Game Addiction With

    The aim of this study is to investigate high school students' online game addiction with respect to gender. The sample which was selected through the criterion sampling method, consists of 81 female (61.8 %) female, and 50 male (38.2 %), total 131 high school students. The "Online Game Addiction Scale" which was developed by Kaya and ...

  3. (PDF) The Effect of Online Game Addiction on Children ...

    A , and Cronbach's alpha coeffi while construct validity was subject to assessment via the exploratory factor analysis (Başol & Kaya, 2018). It was found that OGAS or the Online Gaming...

  4. (PDF) Online game addiction among adolescents: Motivation and

    Discover the world's research PDF | Online game addiction has become a common phenomenon that affects many individuals and societies. In this study we rely on the functionalist... | Find,...

  5. Internet gaming addiction: current perspectives

    In 2012, more than one billion individuals played computer games, which fuelled the 8% growth of the computer gaming industry in the same year. 1 A recent report by the market research company Niko Partners has estimated the People's Republic of China's online gaming market at $12 billion in 2013. 2 Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) offe...

  6. Online Gaming Addiction and Basic Psychological Needs Among ...

    3 Altmetric Explore all metrics Abstract Individuals whose basic needs are naturally satisfied are much less dependent on their environment and more autonomous. Basic psychological needs (i.e., the general motivators of human actions) are significant predictors of online gaming addiction.

  7. Online Games, Addiction and Overuse of

    This entry examines the contemporary research literature by analyzing (1) the prevalence of problematic online gaming use and online gaming addiction; (2) the negative consequences of excessive online gaming; (3) the factors associated with problematic online gaming and online gaming addiction; and (4) the treatment of problematic online gaming ...

  8. Systematic literature review online gaming addiction among children and

    1. Introduction. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit globally, remote schooling and limited activities outside of home have led to a substantial rise in the rate of gaming addiction among children and young adults (age group 7 to 25 - King, Delfabbro, Billieux, & Potenza, 2020).Recent research suggests that online gaming addiction (OGA) is rife among children and young adults with 19 percent of ...

  9. Frontiers

    Previous studies of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) have mainly focused on traditional online gaming addiction based on a desktop computer. However, recent research has suggested that there were only moderate correlations between the different forms of Internet addiction ( 6 ).

  10. Systematic literature review online gaming addiction among children and

    Online gaming addiction refers to a persistent and recurrent use of internet to engage in games leading to significant impairment or distress in a person's life. With the current pandemic, media reports suggest that the greater access of online devices among children and young adults has intensified online gaming addiction.

  11. PDF The Effect of Flow Experience on Online Game Addiction during the COVID

    excessive addiction to online games is a way to adjust to potential psychological problems such as depression and anxiety [26]. Mental health associated with the high risk of online game players during COVID-19 is a public emergency and, therefore, must be a concerning issue [9,10]. However, whether the process of continuous participation in ...

  12. [PDF] The Impact of Online Game Addiction on Adolescent Mental Health

    It is shown that problematic online gaming behavior has a strong negative correlation with various subjective health outcomes and early relevant prevention for adolescents from the IGD is the appropriate use of the internet/ gadgets as the only option to avoid or to reduce the symptoms of internet addiction and online games. Abstract: Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019 ...

  13. (Pdf) Online Gaming Addiction and Academic Attitudes: the Case of

    Internet gaming addiction: perspectives. Manag Citations (3) References (15) ... Thus, in understanding the appeal of Internet gaming, the context it covers, and its neurobiological correlates...

  14. Internet and Gaming Addiction: A Systematic Literature Review of

    1. Introduction In the past decade, research has accumulated suggesting that excessive Internet use can lead to the development of a behavioral addiction (e.g., [ 1, 2, 3, 4 ]). Clinical evidence suggests that Internet addicts experience a number of biopsychosocial symptoms and consequences [ 5 ].

  15. (PDF) Social Effects of Online Game Addiction in Adolescents: A

    Introduction. Dependence on the Internet and online games is a growing problem worldwide. Aim. The aim of this study was to determine the differences between girls and boys as well as between adolescents living in urban vs. rural areas in regard to prevalence of playing online games, the amount of time devoted to playing games, the severity of symptoms of online gaming addiction, and ...

  16. (PDF) Online game addiction among adolescents: motivation and

    Online game addiction has become a common phenomenon that affects many individuals and societies. In this study we rely on the functionalist perspective of human behavior and propose and test a balanced model of the antecedents of online game addiction among adolescents, which simultaneously focuses on motivating, and prevention and harm reduction forces.

  17. (PDF) THE IMPACT OF ONLINE GAMING ADDICTION ON MENTAL ...

    The objectives of this study are to determine: (a) the exposure to online gaming, (b) the levels of online gaming addiction and mental health, and (c) the relationship between online gaming...

  18. Online Game Addiction Among University Students

    Online Game Addiction Among University Students. Lujiaozi Wang, Siyu Zhu. Published 2013. Psychology, Sociology, Education, Computer Science. This thesis is about the effects of online game addiction on both Swedish and Chinese undergraduate students at University of Gavle, Sweden. It aims at investigating the impact that online games ha ...

  19. PDF The Impact of Online Gaming Addiction on Mental Health Among Iium Students

    The objectives of this study are to determine: (a) the exposure to online gaming, (b) the levels of online gaming addiction and mental health, and (c) the relationship between online gaming addiction and mental health, particularly depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

  20. (PDF) THE CAUSES OF ONLINE GAMES ADDICTION

    This paper focuses on the impact of online games among Malaysian undergraduate students. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether online games (especially MMOGs) impacted students positively or vice versa; focusing on three elements (time management, social life and emotion).

  21. (PDF) Online Gaming: Impact on the Academic Performance and Social

    ... Online games are a popular way for people to spend their free time. Some people believe that playing video games can serve a variety of purposes: to learn, to relieve stress, to compete...

  22. PDF "A Study on Impact of Online Gaming and Its Addiction among ...

    The study was done to determine the effects of online games on adolescent's .From the study it was found that 29% adolescents are considered as addicted to online games. The results also showed that there was relation between online games addiction and less physical activities. It also affects the sleep of gamers.

  23. (PDF) Game Addiction: A Brief Review

    Among several characteristics of gaming addiction based on the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) are spending more time in gaming...