Current Addiction Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 313–322 | Cite as

Behavioral Addictions: Some Developmental Considerations

  • Jeffrey L. DerevenskyEmail author
ICD-11 (D King, S Higuchi and V Poznyak, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on ICD-11


Purpose of Review

The American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization have begun to recognize a number of behavioral disorders in their revised diagnostic criteria of mental health disorders. The current review focuses upon examining developmental trajectories associated with gambling, gaming, and Internet disorders.

Recent Findings

While epidemiological studies indicate a growing number of individuals are experiencing a variety of behavioral disorders, many of these disorders have their etiology and origins during childhood and adolescence. The research suggests the importance of considering developmental trajectories when examining gambling, gaming, and Internet disorders (e.g., social networking addiction, smartphone addiction). Higher prevalence rates for each of these disorders have been found among adolescents compared with adults. Individuals experiencing each of these disorders have been shown to have concomitant-associated mental health, academic, social, familial, and interpersonal problems.


With time, most youths (age 12–18) seem to outgrow many of these disorders or modify their behaviors to an acceptable level as they assume adult responsibilities. A better understanding of developmental trajectories associated with behavioral disorders along with their respective risk and protective factors will ultimately enable researchers and clinicians to develop more effective prevention and treatment programs.


Behavioral addictions Gambling disorders Gaming disorders Internet addiction disorders 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk BehaviorsMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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