Studies: Hours of Use Not Correlated With Addiction

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Watching Pornographic Pictures on the Internet: Role of Sexual Arousal Ratings and Psychological-Psychiatric Symptoms for Using Internet Sex Sites Excessively (2011)

Results indicate that self-reported problems in daily life linked to online sexual activities were predicted by subjective sexual arousal ratings of the pornographic material, global severity of psychological symptoms, and the number of sex applications used when being on Internet sex sites in daily life, while the time spent on Internet sex sites (minutes per day) did not significantly contribute to explanation of variance in IATsex score. We see some parallels between cognitive and brain mechanisms potentially contributing to the maintenance of excessive cybersex and those described for individuals with substance dependence


Sexual Excitability and Dysfunctional Coping Determine Cybersex Addiction in Homosexual Males (2015)

Cybersex addiction (CA) has been mostly investigated in heterosexual males. Recent findings have demonstrated an association between CA severity and indicators of sexual excitability, and that coping by sexual behaviors mediated the relationship between sexual excitability and CA symptoms. The aim of this study was to test this mediation in a sample of homosexual males. Seventy-one homosexual males were surveyed online. Questionnaires assessed symptoms of CA, sensitivity to sexual excitation, pornography use motivation, problematic sexual behavior, psychological symptoms, and sexual behaviors in real life and online. Moreover, participants viewed pornographic videos and indicated their sexual arousal before and after the video presentation. Results showed strong correlations between CA symptoms and indicators of sexual arousal and sexual excitability, coping by sexual behaviors, and psychological symptoms. CA was not associated with offline sexual behaviors and weekly cybersex use time. Coping by sexual behaviors partially mediated the relationship between sexual excitability and CA. The results are comparable with those reported for heterosexual males and females in previous studies and are discussed against the background of theoretical assumptions of CA, which highlight the role of positive and negative reinforcement due to cybersex use.

Problematic Game Play: The Diagnostic Value of Playing Motives, Passion, and Playing Time in Men (2015)


Internet gaming disorder is currently listed in the DSM—not in order to diagnose such a disorder but to encourage research to investigate this phenomenon. Even whether it is still questionable if Internet Gaming Disorder exists and can be judged as a form of addiction, problematic game play is already very well researched to cause problems in daily life. Approaches trying to predict problematic tendencies in digital game play have mainly focused on playing time as a diagnostic criterion. However, motives to engage in digital game play and obsessive passion for game play have also been found to predict problematic game play but have not yet been investigated together. The present study aims at (1) analyzing if obsessive passion can be distinguished from problematic game play as separate concepts, and (2) testing motives of game play, passion, and playing time for their predictive values for problematic tendencies. We found (N = 99 males, Age: M = 22.80, SD = 3.81) that obsessive passion can be conceptually separated from problematic game play. In addition, the results suggest that compared to solely playing time immersion as playing motive and obsessive passion have added predictive value for problematic game play. The implications focus on broadening the criteria in order to diagnose problematic playing.

In this study, game play motives, passion for game play as well as playing time were analyzed as predictors for problematic game play. Our results showed that immersion as playing motive and obsessive passion for game play have significant predictive value for problematic game play while playing time had only significant influence on problematic game play if used as single predictor. Concerning the development of future diagnostic instruments, game play motives and passion should be discussed as criteria.


Reframing video gaming and Internet use addiction: Empirical cross-national comparison of heavy use over time and addiction scales among young users (2014).

2015 Oct 9. doi: 10.1111/add.13192. 

Baggio S1, Dupuis M2, Studer J3, Spilka S4, Daeppen JB2, Simon O5, Berchtold A1,6, Gmel G3,7,8,9.



Evidence-based and reliable measures of addictive disorders are needed in general population-based assessments. One study suggested that heavy use over time (UOT) should be used instead of self-reported addiction scales (AS). This study empirically compared UOT and AS regarding video gaming and Internet use, using associations with comorbid factors.


Cross-sectional data from the 2011 French ESCAPAD survey; cross-sectional data from the 2012 Swiss study; and two waves of longitudinal data (2010-2013) of the Swiss Longitudinal Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors (C-SURF).


Three representative samples from the general population of French and Swiss adolescents, and young Swiss men, respectively aged around 17, 14, and 20.


ESCAPAD: n = 22,945 (47.4% men); n = 3,049 (50% men); C-SURF: n = 4,813 (baseline + follow-up, 100% men).


We assessed video gaming/Internet UOT (ESCAPAD and number of hours spent online per week, C-SURF: latent score of time spent gaming/using Internet) and AS (ESCAPAD: Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire, Internet Addiction Test, C-SURF: Gaming AS). Comorbidities were assessed with health outcomes (ESCAPAD: physical health evaluation with a single item, suicidal thoughts, and appointment with a psychiatrist; WHO-5 and somatic health problems; C-SURF: SF12 and MDI).


UOT and AS were moderately correlated (ESCAPAD: r = 0.40, r = 0.53, and C-SURF: r = 0.51). Associations of AS with comorbidity factors were higher than those of UOT in cross-sectional (AS: 0.006 ≤ |b| ≤ 2.500, UOT: 0.001 ≤ |b| ≤ 1.000) and longitudinal analyses (AS: 0.093 ≤ |b| ≤ 1.079, UOT: 0.020 ≤ |b| ≤ 0.329). The results were similar across gender in ESCAPAD and (men: AS: 0.006 ≤ |b| ≤ 0.211, UOT: 0.001 ≤ |b| ≤ 0.061; women: AS: 0.004 ≤ |b| ≤ .155, UOT: 0.001 ≤ |b| ≤ 0.094).


The measurement of heavy use over time (UOT) captures part of addictive video gaming/Internet use without overlapping to a large extent with the results of measuring by self-reported addiction scales (AS). Measuring addictive video gaming/Internet use via self-reported AS relates more strongly to comorbidity factors than heavy UOT.

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