Internet Game Addiction, Depression, and Escape From Negative Emotions in Adulthood: A Nationwide Community Sample of Korea

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between adult Internet game addiction (IGA) and mental disorders. A total of 1401 adults aged between 18 and 74 years participated in this study. The IGA group had significantly younger patients, and it showed a higher proportion of unmarried and unemployed adults, and higher rates of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt than the non-IGA group. Multivariate logistic regression indicated that IGA was significantly associated with major depressive disorder, dysthymia, and depressive disorders adjusting for all variables. The Patient Health Questionnaire–9 score was significantly higher in the IGA group than in the non-IGA group for both young adults and middle groups. “Escape from negative emotions like nervousness, sadness, and anger” was the only significant item associated with depression among symptoms of IGA. This study suggests that adults with IGA and depression may use Internet games to escape from negative emotions.

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