Reference : Technology-mediated addictive behaviors constitute a spectrum of related yet distinct...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Treatment & clinical psychology
Technology-mediated addictive behaviors constitute a spectrum of related yet distinct conditions: A network perspective
Baggio, Stéphanie []
Starcevic, Vladan []
Studer, Joseph []
Simon, Olivier []
Gainsbury, Sally M. []
Gmel, Gerhard []
Billieux, Joël mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors : Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors
Educational Publishing Foundation
[en] Internet Addiction ; Network Analysis ; Cybersex ; Video Gaming ; Spectrum Hypothesis ; Mobile phone
[en] An important ongoing debate in the addiction field is whether certain technologymediated
behaviors constitute tenable and independent constructs. This study
investigated whether problematic technology-mediated behaviors could be
conceptualized as a spectrum of related, yet distinct disorders (spectrum hypothesis),
using the network approach that considers disorders as networks of symptoms. We
used data from the Cohort Study on Substance Use and Risk Factors (C-SURF), with
a representative sample of young Swiss men (subsample of participants engaged in
technology-mediated behaviors, n=3,404). Four technology-mediated addictive
behaviors were investigated using symptoms derived from the DSM-5 and the
component model of addiction: Internet, smartphone, gaming, and cybersex. Network
analyses included network estimation and visualization, community detection tests,
and centrality indices. The network analysis identified four distinct clusters
corresponding to each condition, but only Internet addiction had numerous
relationships with the other behaviors. This finding, along with the finding that there
were few relationships between the other behaviors, suggests that smartphone
addiction, gaming addiction, and cybersex addiction are relatively independent
constructs. Internet addiction was often connected with other conditions through the
same symptoms, suggesting that it could be conceptualized as an “umbrella
construct,” i.e., a common vector that mediates specific online behaviors. The
network analysis thus provides a preliminary support to the spectrum hypothesis and
the focus on the specific activities performed online, while showing that the construct
of “Internet addiction” is inadequate.

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