Treatment of Internet Addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder in Adolescence: A Systematic Review

Treatment of Internet Addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder in Adolescence: A Systematic Review

Francesca Gioia, Valentina Boursier
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8449-0.ch008
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Internet use is growing year after year and adolescents represent a large proportion of internet users. There is a scholarly interest in teen internet gaming disorder (IGD) and internet addiction (IA) is constantly increasing, but little is known about the treatments of IA and IGD. This study systematically reviews the literature of the last fifteen years, focusing on two main aspects: adolescence, and IA and IGD intervention programs. The inclusion criteria were (1) contain empirical data, (2) include an analysis relating to IA or IGD, (3) include teen samples aged between 13 and 19 years or with an average age within this range, and (4) provide a full-text article published in English. A total number of 17 papers were included, 7 focused on IA and 10 focused on IGD. Prevalence and different treatment-related outcomes are discussed.
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The adolescence is a period of life when teenagers are particularly susceptible to mental health risks and dependence-behaviours (Marcelli, & Bracconnier, 2006; Munno, Saroldi, Bechon, Sterpone, & Zullo, 2016). It is a transitional phase in which they need to acquire a sense of self and autonomy, often related to lower capability of self-control and higher propensity for risky behaviours (Erikson, 1968; Marcelli, & Bracconnier, 2006; Munno et al., 2016). In this regard, as Sonia Livingstone (2008) stated, the teen widespread Internet use provides boys and girls risky opportunities. Indeed, whilst web improves educational and social communication among adolescents, facilitating self-presentations, connections with friends, and new relationships (Kraut et al., 2002; Van den Eijnden, Meerkerk, Vermulst, Spijkerman, & Engels, 2008; Boursier & Manna, 2018a), the Internet misuse and abuse could negatively affect adolescents’ everyday life (Leung, 2006; Tam, 2016; Boursier & Manna, 2018a). Moreover, the widespread and often excessive Internet usage has led to the emergence of abuse symptoms (Kuss, Griffiths, Karila, & Billieux, 2014), animating the scientific debate about its effects and the validity of the term “Internet addiction” (IA): its classification is a contentious issue (Kuss & Lopez-Fernandez, 2016) because of its different terminological, conceptual, and operational definitions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Counseling: A professional help and advice to someone to resolve personal or psychological problems.

Treatment: A medical care given to a patient for an illness, disorder, or injury.

Adolescence: A transitional phase of growth that typically describes the years between 13 and 19 and the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood.

Diagnostic Criteria: A brief technical description of the cause, nature, or manifestations of a medical condition.

Family Therapy: A type of psychological psychotherapy or counseling that can help family members to improve communication and resolve conflicts.

Internet Gaming Disorder: The Internet Gaming Disorder consists in an excessive engagement in online gaming. In 2013, it was included in the appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as condition that requires further research.

Psychotherapy: The treatment of mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self and other features are changed in order to face undesidered behaviour patterns or treat mood disorders.

Pharmacological Therapy: Using medications to treat illness and diseases.

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