Dissociation in Problematic Gaming: a Systematic Review
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Purpose of Review
The present article consists of a systematic review of recent (2007–2018) empirical studies addressing the relationship between problematic gaming and dissociation. Nineteen peer-reviewed empirical studies that examined the relationship between problematic gaming and dissociation were identified.
The findings suggest that excessive video game use is linked to a variety of dissociative phenomena (e.g. depersonalisation experiences, escapism, psychotic-like experiences, game transfer phenomena).
Dissociative experiences are associated with problematic gaming. The findings support the hypothesis that problematic video game use can represent a maladaptive coping strategy on which people can rely to escape from disturbing mental states, adverse emotions or real-life problems. In these circumstances, dissociative symptoms might represent the side effects of an alteration in consciousness that is generated by excessive video game use. However, further research (especially experimental and longitudinal) is required in order to establish a potential causal link between problematic gaming patterns and dissociation.
KeywordsProblematic gaming Gaming disorder Dissociation Depersonalisation Escapism Psychotic-like experiences Game transfer phenomena
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article has been edited by Editor-in-Chief Marc Potenza instead of Joël Billieux and Adriano Schimmenti, as Joël Billieux and Adriano Schimmenti are the Section Editors of the “Dissociation and Addictive Behaviors” topical collection.
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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