Network analyses of internet gaming disorder symptoms and their links with different types of motivation

Rapson Gomez, Vasileios Stavropoulos, Deon Tullett-Prado, Bruno Schivinski, Wai Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study used regularized partial correlation network analysis (EBICglasso) to examine the structure of DSM-5 internet gaming disorder (IGD) symptoms (network 1); and the associations of the IGD symptoms in the network with different types of motivation as defined in the self-determination theory i.e., intrinsic motivation (engaging in an activity for something unrelated to the activity), identified regulation (engaging in the activity because it aligns with one’s values and/or goals), external regulation (engagement in activity being driven by external rewards and/or approval), and amotivation (engaging in an activity without often understanding why) (network 2). Participants were 968 adults from the general community. They completed self-rating questionnaires covering IGD symptoms and different types of motivation. The findings for network 1 showed mostly positive connections between the symptoms within the IGD network. The most central symptom was loss of control, followed by continuation, withdrawal symptoms, and tolerance. In general, these symptoms were more strongly connected with each other than with the rest of the IGD symptoms. The findings for network 2 showed that the different types of motivation were connected differently with the different IGD symptoms. For instance, the likeliest motivation for the preoccupation and escape symptoms is intrinsic motivation, and for negative consequences, it is low identified regulation. Overall, the findings showed a novel understanding of the structure of the IGD symptoms, and the motivations underlying them. The clinical implications of the findings for assessment and treatment of IGD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number76
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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