Chan Kelly M Y, Chua Ray S B and Wong John C M
National University Hospital, Singapore
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Psychiatry
Objective: Internet Gaming Disorder has been identified by the American Psychiatric Association as a new and upcoming phenomenon that may result in clinically significant impairment of functioning in various aspects of a person’s life. The objective of this investigation was to identify common risk factors amongst Singaporean students who were referred for excessive computer use (ECU) and who were at risk of developing the disorder. Methods: A qualitative thematic analysis was conducted based on existing case files of students who were referred to a communitybased child and adolescent mental health team, REACH (West), in Singapore. Results: 32 cases were identified as presenting with ECU since the conception of the team, all of whom were male, age 11-17 at the point of referral. 17 (53%) were diagnosed with comorbid Axis 1 mental health disorders in addition to ECU. 5 main themes were extracted from the analysis, namely: Problems within the family, Parenting styles, Poor emotional regulation, School-related difficulties, and Difficulties in self-expression. Conclusion: The themes identified were consistent with existing literature, which highlights experiences of negative emotional symptoms as a significant risk factor for developing Internet Gaming Disorder. In our sample, having parents who displayed a combination of permissive parenting and punitive punishment stood out as a unique feature of students who present with ECU. Clinical implications, particularly regarding interventions for excessive computer or gaming use, are discussed..
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