Concerns have arisen about possible addiction to the Internet. In response to these concerns, DSM-5 has added Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) as a proposed diagnostic category. Nine symptom criteria are listed, such as “preoccupation with Internet games.” At least five of the criterial symptoms must be present to qualify for IGD. To assess the prevalence of IGD and its association with YSR scores, an international research team had 10,623 14-17-year-olds in Greece, Iceland, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Spain complete the YSR and the Scale for the Assessment of Internet and Computer Game Addiction (AICA; Müller et al., 2015). Of the 60.5% who reported playing online games regularly, 2.7% met criteria for IGD, while an additional 8.4% were considered to be at risk for IGD, because they met 2 to 4 criteria.

Significant correlations between AICA and YSR scores indicated that youths with high gaming scores reported low levels of competence and high levels of problems. The highest elevations were on the YSR Rule-Breaking Behavior and Aggressive Behavior scales, where youths meeting IGD criteria had considerably higher problem scores than youths who were classified as being at risk, who, in turn, had considerably higher scores than youths who were not at risk and those who were non-gamers. The authors concluded that “IGD is related to psychopathological and psychosocial symptoms, which places emphasis on the seriousness of IGD requiring counseling” (p. 572).

Reference: Müller, K.W., Janikian, M., Dreier, M., Wölfling, K., Beutel, M.E., Tzavara, C., Richardson, C., & Tsitsika, A. (2015). Regular gaming behavior and internet gaming disorder in European adolescents: Results from a cross-national representative survey of prevalence, predictors, and psychopathological correlates. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 24, 565-574.