Merging Theoretical Models and Therapy Approaches in the Context of Internet Gaming Disorder: A Personal Perspective

Frontiers in Psychology 8:289710 (2017)
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Abstract

Although it is not yet officially recognized as a clinical entity which is diagnosable, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has been included in section III for further study in the DSM-5 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2013). This is important because there is increasing evidence that people of all ages, in particular teens and young adults, are facing very real and sometimes very severe consequences in daily life resulting from an addictive use of online games. This article summarizes general aspects of IGD including diagnostic criteria and arguments for the classification as an addictive disorder including evidence from neurobiological studies. Based on previous theoretical considerations and empirical findings, this paper examines the use of one recently proposed model, the Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution (I-PACE) model, for inspiring future research and for developing new treatment protocols for IGD. The I-PACE model is a theoretical framework that explains symptoms of Internet addiction by looking at interactions between predisposing factors, moderators, and mediators in combination with reduced executive functioning and diminished decision making. Finally, the paper discusses how current treatment protocols focusing on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Internet addiction (CBT-IA) fit with the processes hypothesized in the I-PACE model.

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