Predictors of gaming disorder in children and adolescents: a school-based study


Braz. J. Psychiatry




Objective: To determine whether psychiatric and gaming pattern variables are associated with gaming disorder in a school-based sample. Methods: We analyzed data from the Brazilian High-Risk Cohort for Psychiatric Disorders, a community sample aged 10 to 18, using questionnaires on gaming use patterns. We applied the Gaming Addiction Scale to diagnose gaming disorder and the Development and Well-Being Behavior Assessment for other diagnoses. Results: Out of 407 subjects, 83 (20.4%) fulfilled the criteria for gaming disorder. More role-playing game players were diagnosed with gaming disorder that any other genre. Gaming disorder rates increased proportionally to the number of genres played. Playing online, being diagnosed with a mental disorder, and more hours of non-stop gaming were associated with higher rates of gaming disorder. When all variables (including age and gender) were considered in a logistic regression model, the number of genres played, the number of non-stop hours, the proportion of online games, and having a diagnosed mental disorder emerged as significant predictors of gaming disorder. Conclusion: Each variable seems to add further risk of gaming disorder among children and adolescents. Monitoring the length of gaming sessions, the number and type of genres played, time spent gaming online, and behavior changes may help parents or guardians identify unhealthy patterns of gaming behavior.

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