Why do adults seek treatment for gaming (disorder)? : A qualitative study
Karhulahti, V.-M., Behm, S., & Lukka, L. (2023). Why do adults seek treatment for gaming (disorder)? : A qualitative study. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 10, Article 299. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-023-01775-y
Published inHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
DisciplineNykykulttuurin tutkimusMonitieteinen aivotutkimuskeskusHyvinvoinnin tutkimuksen yhteisöContemporary CultureCentre for Interdisciplinary Brain ResearchSchool of Wellbeing
© 2023 the Authors
Despite gaming disorder now being diagnosable by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a new mental disorder due to addictive behaviors, little is known about the concrete reasons for which people seek treatment for their videogame play. As the current literature is mainly based on children and adolescents, there is a strong need for better understanding adult treatment-seekers in particular. This preregistered study responds to the gap in research by qualitatively investigating the reasons for treatment-seeking with 110 participants who had sought help for their videogame play from a Finnish treatment program. We applied template analysis to the open-ended data, which consist of the participants’ personal accounts regarding their problems. Additionally, we report the game titles that the participants had problems with, as well as Internet Gaming Disorder Test (IGDT-10) scores, which were measured from 89 participants. The template analysis suggested five themes, which cover the main reasons for treatment-seeking: social reasons, existential reasons, practical reasons, self-perceived addiction, and wish for support. Many of these themes overlap with the ICD-11 description of gaming disorder, but several issues, such as loss of meaning and financial harms, are not part of the current diagnosis. The average IGDT-10 score among participants was 3.86 (SD = 2.55) and 37 (42%) individuals met the disorder cutoff (5.00). Numerous videogames with different designs were mentioned as sources of problems, of which 26 were mentioned more than once. The study indicates that adults seek treatment for many kinds of games and gaming-related problems, including but not limited to those, which are described part of the ICD-11 gaming disorder diagnoses. We recommend both researchers and practitioners to implement an expanded perspective on gaming behaviors, acknowledging that adults may seek treatment for diverse gaming-related problems, some of which not necessarily relevant to gaming disorder or mental disorders in general. ...
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Publication in research information system
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Related funder(s)European Commission; Finnish Work Environment Fund; Academy of Finland
Funding program(s)Others; Centre of Excellence, AoF
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingVMK: Finnish Work Environment Fund (200349), Academy of Finland (312397), and European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation program (grant agreement No 101042052). LL: Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation, Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation, and Sigrid Juselius Foundation grants to J. Matias Palva. SB: no funding to declare.
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