Associations between problematic gaming and psychiatric symptoms among adolescents in two samples

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between problematic gaming and psychiatric symptoms among adolescents. Data from adolescents in the SALVe cohort, including adolescents in Västmanland who were born in 1997 and 1999 (N=1868; 1034 girls), and data from consecutive adolescent psychiatric outpatients in Västmanland (N=242; 169 girls) were analyzed. Adolescents self-rated on the Gaming Addiction Identification Test (GAIT), Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Adolescent version (ASRS-A), Depression Self-Rating Scale Adolescent version (DSRS-A), Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS), and psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed, and adjusted for sex, age, study population, school bullying, family maltreatment, and interactions by sex, with two-way interactions between psychiatric measurements. Boys had higher self-rated problematic gaming in both samples, whereas girls self-rated higher in all psychiatric domains. Boys had more than eight times the probability, odds ratio (OR), of having problematic gaming. Symptoms of ADHD, depression and anxiety were associated with ORs of 2.43 (95% CI 1.44-4.11), 2.47 (95% CI 1.44-4.25), and 2.06 (95% CI 1.27-3.33), respectively, in relation to coexisting problematic gaming. Problematic gaming was associated with psychiatric symptoms in adolescents; when problematic gaming is considered, the probability of coexisting psychiatric symptoms should also be considered, and vice versa.

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