Internet addictions outside of Europe: a systematic literature review

Kuss, D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8917-782X, Kristensen, A.M. and Lopez-Fernandez, O. ORCID: 0000-0002-4294-9156, 2021. Internet addictions outside of Europe: a systematic literature review. Computers in Human Behavior, 115: 106621. ISSN 0747-5632

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Background and aims: The growing problem of Internet addiction has been acknowledged through the inclusion of Gaming Disorder in the American Psychiatric Association's fifth Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in April 2013. In response to a recent review report on the research published in Europe since the adoption, this review summarizes and investigates studies published outside of Europe between April 2013 and September 2019.

Methods: Literature on Internet addiction was included and reviewed critically following the PRISMA guidelines, with the objectives to (i) highlight the main findings in explorative and intervention studies and (ii) to investigate the cultural similarities and differences within the extra-European regions. A critical look is cast on the validity and reliability of the studies in question.

Results: A total of 64 studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies investigated Internet addiction and Internet gaming addiction; however, studies on addiction to online gambling, online pornography, and social media addiction were also included. Demographically East Asia was highly represented through studies from China, Japan, and South Korea. Prevalence rates of generalised Internet addiction varied from 12.6% to 67.5%. The main findings revealed a range of risk factors associated with online addictions, such as psychological distress, mood disorders, suicidality, impulsivity, aggression, and sleep problems. Most of the intervention studies made use of a cognitive behavioural therapy approach, although other interventions appeared effective in reducing addiction symptoms. Further katamnestic research is needed to follow up on intervention studies.

Conclusions: Based on the consistent findings of positive associations between online addictions and mental health problems across cultures in combination with relatively high prevalence rates amongst adolescents and university students, further research is needed and prevention strategies and treatment offers require developing and implementing.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Computers in Human Behavior
Creators: Kuss, D., Kristensen, A.M. and Lopez-Fernandez, O.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: February 2021
Volume: 115
ISSN: 0747-5632
S074756322030368XPublisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 06 Nov 2020 15:57
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2021 03:00

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