Risk and protective factors of Internet gaming disorder among Chinese people: A meta-analysis

Yinan Ji, Margaret Xi Can Yin, Anna Yan Zhang, Daniel Fu Keung Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Effective prevention and intervention of Internet gaming disorder require the identification of risk and protective factors. This study aims to exhaustively review the risk and protective factors of Internet gaming disorder among Chinese people. Method: We searched for articles published from database inception to February 2020 in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase, PubMed, Web of Science and two Chinese databases, CNKI and Wanfang Data. Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they addressed Internet gaming disorder, sampled people in China, presented correlational factors of Internet gaming disorder and reported the effect sizes for correlations. Reviewers independently selected the studies, assessed their validity and extracted the data. Pooled Pearson’s correlations were calculated using the random effects model. Result: In the meta-analysis, 153 studies covering 115,975 subjects were included. We identified 56 risk factors and 28 protective factors. Most risk factors strongly correlated with Internet gaming disorder fell into the category of maladaptive cognitions and motivations. Other factors that showed high effect sizes fell into various categories, including psychopathological characteristics, personality traits, cognition emotion regulation style and gaming-related factors. The only protective factor strongly correlated with Internet gaming disorder was self-control. We found that the factors related to the ‘environments’ show modest effect sizes compared to those related to the individual. The pooled effect sizes for most factors were not influenced by outliers and publication bias. Conclusion: Factors strongly correlated with Internet gaming disorder, especially maladaptive cognitions and motivations, are more likely to be proximal correlates of Internet gaming disorder and may be considered the focus of interventions. We encourage further empirical and experimental studies to examine the causal pathway and the treatment efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-346
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume56
Issue number4
Early online date10 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

User-Defined Keywords

  • behavioural addiction
  • China
  • Internet gaming disorder
  • meta-analysis
  • protective factors
  • risk factors

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