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PeerJ. 2017 Sep 29;5:e3838. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3838. eCollection 2017.

A prospective study of the motivational and health dynamics of Internet Gaming Disorder.

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School of Psychology, Cardiff University, United Kingdom.
Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, United Kingdom.
Kochi University of Technology, Japan.


The American Psychiatric Association has identified Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) as a potential psychiatric condition and called for research to investigate its etiology, stability, and impacts on health and behavior. The present study recruited 5,777 American adults and applied self-determination theory to examine how motivational factors influence, and are influenced by, IGD and health across a six month period. Following a preregistered analysis plan, results confirmed our hypotheses that IGD criteria are moderately stable and that they and basic psychological need satisfaction have a reciprocal relationship over time. Results also showed need satisfaction promoted health and served as a protective factor against IGD. Contrary to what was hypothesized, results provided no evidence directly linking IGD to health over time. Exploratory analyses suggested that IGD may have indirect effects on health by way of its impact on basic needs. Implications are discussed in terms of existing gaming addiction and motivational frameworks.


Internet gaming; Internet gaming disorder; Internet/cyberpsychology; Self-determination theory; Self-regulation; Well-being

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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