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Exploring the associations between reward disturbances, internet addiction and depression

Exploring the associations between reward disturbances, internet addiction and depression
Exploring the associations between reward disturbances, internet addiction and depression
A review of the literature on the relationship between Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and depression was conducted; a total of 22 papers met inclusion criteria. The review was structured by three questions: 1) Is there an association between IGD and depression? 2) What mediators and moderators may be involved in this relationship? 3) Is there any evidence to suggest causal pathways? The majority of the reviewed research identified an association between IGD and depression. Some potential mediators and moderators were identified, including self-esteem and loneliness, although methodological limitations restricted the inferences that could be drawn from the findings. The research is still in its infancy and more sophisticated research methods are required to further understand the nature of the association between IGD and depression.

A quasi-experimental design was used to explore the proposed association between reward disturbances, internet addiction and depression. Specifically, it was hypothesised that the internet addict group would experience reduced ‘liking’ of positive stimuli and increased ‘wanting’ of internet stimuli, whilst being less motivated to obtain reward in comparison with controls. The internet addiction group reported significantly higher depression scores, however there were no differences in groups’ ‘liking’ of stimuli, yet the internet addiction group reported greater arousal overall. There were no between group differences for motivation, although within group correlations revealed that for the internet addiction group there was a dissociation between ‘liking’ of rewards and motivation to obtain them; there was also a positive correlation between BDI-II scores and motivation. These findings were not in line with hypotheses, and may suggest that the internet addiction group experience greater reward sensitivity, and are therefore drawn to internet use to satiate this heightened rewardsensitivity; or that internet addiction may serve as a form of experiential avoidance, thus potentially maintaining depression.
Bishop, Phillip
f5b2d319-b596-486c-9571-c6530b6f7769
Bishop, Phillip
f5b2d319-b596-486c-9571-c6530b6f7769
Brignell, Catherine
ec44ecae-8687-4bbb-bc81-8c2c8f27febd
Garner, Matthew
3221c5b3-b951-4fec-b456-ec449e4ce072

Bishop, Phillip (2016) Exploring the associations between reward disturbances, internet addiction and depression. University of Southampton, School of Psychology, Doctoral Thesis, 138pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

A review of the literature on the relationship between Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and depression was conducted; a total of 22 papers met inclusion criteria. The review was structured by three questions: 1) Is there an association between IGD and depression? 2) What mediators and moderators may be involved in this relationship? 3) Is there any evidence to suggest causal pathways? The majority of the reviewed research identified an association between IGD and depression. Some potential mediators and moderators were identified, including self-esteem and loneliness, although methodological limitations restricted the inferences that could be drawn from the findings. The research is still in its infancy and more sophisticated research methods are required to further understand the nature of the association between IGD and depression.

A quasi-experimental design was used to explore the proposed association between reward disturbances, internet addiction and depression. Specifically, it was hypothesised that the internet addict group would experience reduced ‘liking’ of positive stimuli and increased ‘wanting’ of internet stimuli, whilst being less motivated to obtain reward in comparison with controls. The internet addiction group reported significantly higher depression scores, however there were no differences in groups’ ‘liking’ of stimuli, yet the internet addiction group reported greater arousal overall. There were no between group differences for motivation, although within group correlations revealed that for the internet addiction group there was a dissociation between ‘liking’ of rewards and motivation to obtain them; there was also a positive correlation between BDI-II scores and motivation. These findings were not in line with hypotheses, and may suggest that the internet addiction group experience greater reward sensitivity, and are therefore drawn to internet use to satiate this heightened rewardsensitivity; or that internet addiction may serve as a form of experiential avoidance, thus potentially maintaining depression.

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More information

Published date: May 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 401556
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/401556
PURE UUID: e0c16cfa-1917-4bd3-be8d-fdffb8d254e5

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Oct 2016 14:28
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 18:01

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Contributors

Author: Phillip Bishop
Thesis advisor: Catherine Brignell
Thesis advisor: Matthew Garner

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