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Developmental Process of Internet Gaming Disorder among South Korean Adolescents: Effects of Family Environment and Recreation Experience

Abstract

Despite growing public concern over Internet game use disorder, the popularity of Internet gaming has rapidly increased among adolescents. Since Internet gaming disorder has largely been investigated through the lens of serious psychiatric syndromes, most previous studies employed diverse psychopathological concepts like depression and anxiety. Unlike those studies, this study provides useful opportunities to better understand how adolescents’ Internet gaming disorder is conceptually linked with their family environment and recreation experience. Using a large sample of South Korean high school students (N = 2215), this study found that adolescents’ levels of Internet gaming disorder were positively associated with their perception of constraints to recreation participation. The structural equation model additionally indicated that respondents’ problematic engagement in the online activity was negatively related to the cohesive and adaptable characteristics of family system. According to the effect decomposition results, the concept of leisure constraints served as more important factor than family functioning and leisure satisfaction in determining respondents’ degrees of problematic involvement in Internet gaming. This study also revealed that the exogenous variable of family functioning was significantly related to leisure constraints and leisure satisfaction with an opposite path coefficient sign. Based on study findings derived from the conceptual framework, several policy implications are discussed to decrease adolescents’ excessive immersion in Internet games.

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Correspondence to Seong Ok Lyu.

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All research procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committees and the Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Lyu, S.O. Developmental Process of Internet Gaming Disorder among South Korean Adolescents: Effects of Family Environment and Recreation Experience. J Child Fam Stud 26, 1527–1535 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-017-0686-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-017-0686-8

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Family functioning
  • Internet gaming disorder
  • Leisure constraints
  • Leisure satisfaction