Subtyping treatment-seeking gaming disorder patients

Roser Granero, Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Jesús Castro-Calvo, Joël Billieux, Susana Valero-Solís, Bernat Mora-Maltas, Sandra Rivas-Pérez, Eduardo Valenciano-Mendoza, Amparo del Pino-Gutiérrez, Mónica Gómez-Peña, Laura Moragas, Isabel Baenas, Teresa Mena-Moreno, Gemma Casalé-Salayet, Ester Codina, Vega González-Bueso, Juan Jose Santamaría, Marta Baño, José M. Menchón, Susana Jiménez-Murcia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background and aims: Gaming Disorder (GD) is characterized by a pattern of persistent and uncontrolled gaming behavior that causes a marked impairment in important areas of functioning. The evolution of the worldwide incidence of this disorder warrants further studies focused on examining the existence of different subtypes within clinical samples, in order to tailor treatment. This study explored the existence of different profiles of patients seeking treatment for GD through a data-driven approach. Methods: The sample included n = 107 patients receiving treatment for GD (92% men and 8% women) ranging between 14 and 60 years old (mean age = 24.1, SD = 10). A two-step clustering analysis approach explored the existence of different underlying GD profiles based on a broad set of indicators, including sociodemographic features, clinical course of the condition (e.g., onset or evolution), psychopathological symptoms, and personality traits. Results: Two GD profiles emerged. The first cluster grouped together patients who presented with a lower psychological impact (n = 72, 66.1%), whereas the second cluster comprised patients with a higher psychological impact (n = 35, 32.7%). Cluster comparisons revealed that those patients presenting the higher impact were older, with a later onset of pathological gaming patterns, and more pronounced psychopathological symptoms and dysfunctional personality profiles. Conclusions: GD severity is influenced by specific demographic, clinical, and psychopathological factors. The identification of two separate profiles provides empirical evidence that contributes to the conceptualization of this disorder, as well as to the development of reliable and valid screening tools and effective intervention plans focused on the precise characteristics of the treatment-seeking patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107086
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume123
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Clustering
  • Gaming Disorder
  • Internet Gaming Disorder
  • Personality
  • Profiles

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