Behavioural Addictions in Adolescents and Young Adults: Results from a Prevalence Study
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Our study aims to assess the prevalence of behavioural addictions in an adolescent population, evaluating the effects of gender and age, and to assess the correlations among different behavioural addictions. 2853 high school students were assessed in order to evaluate the prevalence of behavioural addictions such as Pathological Gambling (PG), Compulsive Buying (CB), Exercise Addiction (EA), Internet Addiction (IA), and Work Addiction (WA), in a population of Italian adolescents. The South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised Adolescent (SOGS-RA), the Compulsive Buying Scale (CBS), the Exercise Addiction Inventory (EAI), the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and the Work Addiction Risk Test (WART), were compiled anonymously by the students. Overall prevalence was 7.0% for PG, 11.3% for CB, 1.2% for IA, 7.6% for WA, 8.5% for EA. PG and EA were more common among boys, while gender had no effect on the other conditions. CB was more common among younger (<18 years old) students. The scores of all of these scales were significantly correlated. The strong correlation among different addictive behaviours is in line with the hypothesis of a common psychopathological dimension underlying these phenomena. Further studies are needed to assess personality traits and other clinical disorders associated with these problems behaviours.
KeywordsAdolescence Behavioural addictions Epidemiology Pathological Gambling Prevalence
The present work was made possible by the efforts of local health unit, drug addiction service, Barletta, and of all of the schools involved.
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