Advertisement

Maladaptive Coping Styles in Adolescents with Internet Gaming Disorder Symptoms

  • Luke A. Schneider
  • Daniel L. King
  • Paul H. Delfabbro
Original Article

Abstract

Problematic Internet gaming represents a potential public health concern due to its negative consequences for players and their families. It has been argued that disordered gaming may manifest more readily in vulnerable individuals who lack alternative means of coping. This study investigated Internet gaming disorder (IGD) in relation to coping, including emotion- and problem-focused coping styles. The sample was 823 adolescents (402 males) recruited from secondary schools. Participants completed surveys including the DSM-5 IGD checklist and the Brief COPE. Symptoms of IGD were significantly positively related to denial and behavioural disengagement but were not related to 10 other coping styles. Hours spent gaming and denial coping were the strongest predictors of IGD symptoms. These findings suggest that IGD may co-occur with a tendency toward denial coping, highlighting the significant challenge for practitioners in obtaining reliable assessment by self-report and developing an effective therapeutic alliance in interventions for adolescents.

Keywords

Internet gaming disorder Coping Adolescents DSM-5 Denial Addiction 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to the students who participated in this study, and the teachers and principals for assistance with data collection.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Subcommittee at the University of Adelaide and the Department for Education and Child Development. All participants and parents provided informed consent, and participation was voluntary.

Conflict of Interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

Financial Disclosure

This work received financial support from a 2014 RIBG Small Research Grant funded by the School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide. This work also received financial support from a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) DE170101198 funded by the Australian Research Council.

References

  1. Aldwin, C. M., & Revenson, T. A. (1987). Does coping help? A reexamination of the relation between coping and mental health. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 337.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Allison, S. E., von Wahlde, L., Shockley, T., & Gabbard, G. O. (2006). The development of the self in the era of the internet and role-playing fantasy games. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 381–385.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.) (DSM-5). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  4. Baker, J. P., & Berenbaum, H. (2007). Emotional approach and problem-focused coping: a comparison of potentially adaptive strategies. Cognition and Emotion, 21, 95–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Basterfield, C., Reardon, C., & Govender, K. (2014). Relationship between constructions of masculinity, health risk behaviors and mental health among adolescent high school boys in Durban, South Africa. International Journal of Men’s Health, 13, 101.Google Scholar
  6. Beranuy, M., Carbonell, X., & Griffiths, M. D. (2013). A qualitative analysis of online gaming addicts in treatment. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 11, 149–161.Google Scholar
  7. Blaszczynski, A. (2006). Internet use: In search of an addiction. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 4, 7–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brand, M., Laier, C., & Young, K. S. (2014). Internet addiction: coping styles, expectancies, and treatment implications. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1256.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Carver, C. S., Scheier, J., & Weintraub, J. (1989). Assessing coping strategies: a theoretically based approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 267–283.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155.Google Scholar
  11. Donovan, C. L., & Spence, S. H. (2000). Prevention of childhood anxiety disorders. Clinical Psychology Review, 20, 509–531.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Ferguson, C. J., Coulson, M., & Barnett, J. (2011). A meta-analysis of pathological gaming prevalence and comorbidity with mental health, academic and social problems. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45, 1573–1578.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Gentile, D. A., Choo, H., Liau, A., Sim, T., Li, D., Fung, D., & Khoo, A. (2011). Pathological video game use among youths: a two-year longitudinal study. Pediatrics, 127, e319–e329.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Gómez-Fraguela, J. A., Luengo, A., Romero, E., Villar, P., & Sobral, J. (2006). Coping strategies at the start of adolescence and their relation with drug use and problem behavior. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 6, 581–597.Google Scholar
  15. Kaptsis, D., King, D. L., Delfabbro, P. H., & Gradisar, M. (2016). Withdrawal symptoms in internet gaming disorder: a systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 43, 58–66.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Kasi, P. M., Naqvi, H. A., Afghan, A. K., Khawar, T., Khan, F. H., Khan, U. Z., et al. (2012). Coping styles in patients with anxiety and depression. ISRN Psychiatry, Article ID, 128672.Google Scholar
  17. King, D. L., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2014a). Internet gaming disorder treatment: a review of definitions of diagnosis and treatment outcome. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 70, 942–955.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. King, D. L., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2014b). My Facebook family: should adolescent psychiatric evaluation include information about online social networks? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48, 805–808.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. King, D. L., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2016a). The cognitive psychopathology of Internet gaming disorder in adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44, 1635–1645.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. King, D. L., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2016b). Adolescents’ perceptions of parental influences on commercial and simulated gambling activities. International Gambling Studies, 16, 424–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. King, D. L., Delfabbro, P. H., Griffiths, M. D., & Gradisar, M. (2011). Assessing clinical trials of Internet addiction treatment: a systematic review and CONSORT evaluation. Clinical Psychology Review, 31, 1110–1116.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Kuss, D. J., & Griffiths, M. D. (2012). Internet gaming addiction: a systematic review of empirical research. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 10, 278–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. Lo, S. K., Wang, C. C., & Fang, W. (2005). Physical interpersonal relationships and social anxiety among online game players. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 8(1), 15–20.Google Scholar
  25. Li, H., & Lei, L. (2005). The relationship of coping styles and pathological Internet use of middle school students. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 1, 012.Google Scholar
  26. McMahon, E. M., Corcoran, P., McAuliffe, C., Keeley, H., Perry, I. J., & Arensman, E. (2013). Mediating effects of coping style on associations between mental health factors and self-harm among adolescents. Crisis, 34, 242–250.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Müller, K. W., Janikian, M., Dreier, M., Wölfling, K., Beutel, M. E., Tzavara, C., et al. (2015). Regular gaming behavior and internet gaming disorder in European adolescents: results from a cross-national representative survey of prevalence, predictors, and psychopathological correlates. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 24, 565–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mullis, R. L., & Chapman, P. (2000). Age, gender, and self-esteem differences in adolescent coping styles. The Journal of Social Psychology, 140, 539–541.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Orzack, M. H., & Orzack, D. S. (1999). Treatment of computer addicts with complex co-morbid psychiatric disorders. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 2, 465–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Petry, N. M., Rehbein, F., Gentile, D. A., Lemmens, J. S., Rumpf, H. J., Mößle, T., et al. (2014). An international consensus for assessing internet gaming disorder using the new DSM-5 approach. Addiction, 109, 1399–1406.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Pies, R. (2009). Should DSM-V designate “Internet addiction” a mental disorder? Psychiatry, 6, 31–37.Google Scholar
  32. Porter, G., Starcevic, V., Berle, D., & Penech, P. (2010). Recognising problem video game use. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44, 120–128.Google Scholar
  33. Rehbein, F., Kliem, S., Baier, D., Mößle, T., & Petry, N. M. (2015). Prevalence of internet gaming disorder in German adolescents: diagnostic contribution of the nine DSM-5 criteria in a state-wide representative sample. Addiction, 110, 842–851.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Senormanci, O., Konkan, R., Güçlü, O., & Senormanci, G. (2014). Evaluation of coping strategies of male patients, being treated in internet addiction outpatient clinic in Turkey. Journal of Mood Disorders, 4, 14–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stratta, P., Capanna, C., Carmassi, C., Patriarca, S., Di Emidio, G., Riccardi, I., et al. (2014). The adolescent emotional coping after an earthquake: a risk factor for suicidal ideation. Journal of Adolescence, 37, 605–611.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Tang, J., Yu, Y., Du, Y., Ma, Y., Zhang, D., & Wang, J. (2014). Prevalence of internet addiction and its association with stressful life events and psychological symptoms among adolescent internet users. Addictive Behaviors, 39, 744–747.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Tejeiro, R. A., Gómez-Vallecillo, J. L., Pelegrina, M., Wallace, A., & Emberley, E. (2012). Risk factors associated with the abuse of video games in adolescents. Psychology, 3, 310–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thomas, N. J., & Martin, F. H. (2010). Video-arcade game, computer game and Internet activities of Australian students: participation habits and prevalence of addiction. Australian Journal of Psychology, 62, 59–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tuncay, T., Musabak, I., Gok, D. E., & Kutlu, M. (2008). The relationship between anxiety, coping strategies and characteristics of patients with diabetes. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 6, 79.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Wan, C. S., & Chiou, W. B. (2006). Psychological motives and online games addiction: a test of flow theory and humanistic needs theory for Taiwanese adolescents. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 9, 317–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wang, E., Zhang, X., & Hua, Q. (2012). The relationship between Internet addiction and coping method of secondary vocational school students. China Journal of Health Psychology, 20, 74–76.Google Scholar
  42. Weinstein, A., & Lejoyeux, M. (2010). Internet addiction or excessive internet use. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 36, 277–283.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Whang, L. S. M., Lee, S., & Chang, G. (2003). Internet over-users’ psychological profiles: a behavior sampling analysis on internet addiction. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 6, 143–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wills, T. A., Sandy, J. M., & Yaeger, A. M. (2001). Time perspective and early-onset substance use: a model based on stress–coping theory. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15, 118.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Winkler, A., Dörsing, B., Rief, W., Shen, Y., & Glombiewski, J. A. (2013). Treatment of internet addiction: a meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 33, 317–329.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Wood, R. T. (2008). Problems with the concept of video game “addiction”: some case study examples. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 6, 169–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wood, R. T., & Griffiths, M. D. (2007). A qualitative investigation of problem gambling as an escape-based coping strategy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 80, 107–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wu, W., Wu, X., Yuan, F., Zheng, Y., & Zheng, X. (2009). The relationship between stress, coping styles and Internet addiction of adolescents. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 17, 721–722.Google Scholar
  49. Zanini, D. S., & Forns, M. (2014). Does coping mediate personality and behavioural problems relationship? Psychology, 5, 1111–1119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zhou, L. (2009). Relationships between Internet addiction, coping style and life events among teenagers. Chinese Journal of Public Health, 25, 1372–1373.Google Scholar
  51. Zhou, Y., Li, D., Li, X., Wang, Y., & Zhao, L. (2017). Big five personality and adolescent Internet addiction: the mediating role of coping style. Addictive Behaviors, 64, 42–48.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke A. Schneider
    • 1
  • Daniel L. King
    • 1
  • Paul H. Delfabbro
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations