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Parental behaviors associated with internet gaming disorder in children and adolescents: A quantitative meta-analysis

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The development of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is associated with different factors including parental practices. However, there is no clear evidence estimating the extent to which parent behaviours are associated with IGD. The present meta-analysis aims to quantify the magnitude of such association in youths under 18 years old. The 38 studies included (N = 47,362) are the result of a computer database search of PubMed, PsycINFO, Proquest, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane. In the analyses, we investigated the parental factors for IGD symptomatology that parents can potentially change. We tested age, gender, study quality, year of publication, and country level of technological development as moderators. The results show that there are both protective parental behaviours (i.e. those that give autonomy to young people, provide a positive environment, and age-appropriate monitoring) and harmful (i.e. aversiveness, overinvolvement, and withdrawal) parental behaviours associated with IGD symptoms with the stronger links accounted for withdrawal r of 0.280 [95%CI 0.168, 0.384] and overinvolvement, r of 0.186 [95% CI 0.086, 0.283]. In addition, age, gender, and technological country level do not moderate the association between warmth and IGD symptoms. The heterogeneity was high, with no significant changes in sensitivity and moderator analyses. There was no evidence of the risk of bias and small-study effects. Findings suggest that parental factors are related to IGD, which brings evidence in favor of including parents in clinical interventions.

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References Marked with an Asterisk Inicate Studies Included in the Meta-Analysis

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Part of this work was supported by a grant of the: Romanian Ministry of Education and Research, CNCS—UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-2417, within PNCDI III awarded to Dr. Anca Dobrean. The authors want to thank the following Ph.D. students: Diana Grama and Alexandra Sabou for their contributions as second-raters in the process of coding and data extraction.

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Methodology [Iulia Maria Coșa, Raluca Diana Gerogescu, Anca Dobrean, Costina Ruxandra Păsărelu]; Data curation [Iulia Maria Coșa, Raluca Diana Gerogescu]; Formal analysis [Iulia Maria Coșa, Raluca Diana Gerogescu]; Writing-original draft [Iulia Maria Coșa, Raluca Diana Gerogescu]; Conceptualisation [Anca Dobrean]; Supervision [Anca Dobrean, Raluca Diana Gerogescu, Costina Ruxandra Păsărelu]; Writing-reviews & Editing [Anca Dobrean, Raluca Diana Gerogescu, Costina Ruxandra Păsărelu].

All authors had full access to all data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

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Correspondence to Anca Dobrean.

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The study does not require ethical approval because the methodology of the current meta-analysis is based on published research and the original data are anonymous.

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Coşa, I.M., Dobrean, A., Georgescu, R.D. et al. Parental behaviors associated with internet gaming disorder in children and adolescents: A quantitative meta-analysis. Curr Psychol 42, 19401–19418 (2023).

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