#APSB2015: (1/2) Is your child addicted to the Internet?

MP-KNN teamData and Research, Events, Netiquette, Society, The Changing Youth1 Comment

This is Part 1 of a two-part feature. Read Part 2 here

With the arrival of new technology often comes the fear of its potential perils. Naysayers have had much to say about TV, texting, virtual pets. These days, the villain is the Internet.

At Ako Para Sa Bata 2015: Cyberprotection of Children, all plenary talks and simultaneous sessions discussed the dangers children face when they go online or when they have their own devices. One session focused on the dangers of Internet gaming.

Simultaneous Symposium 9 was titled “Internet Addiction, Sexting, Sex Videos and Other Risky Online Behaviors.” Dr. Narcisa Cristina Cinco gave a presentation called “Internet Gaming Disorder: Signs and Symptoms.”

Internet Gaming Disorder

How much time do children spend online? Is it uncontrollable? Is it an addiction?

One important thing to note is that IGD is not officially recognized as a disorder by any psychiatric association just yet. According to the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), its current status is “Condition for Further Study,” meaning further research is required. As it has not yet been definitively declared a disorder, the symptoms and risk factors presented at the simultaneous symposium are not yet definite.

Cinco presented the potential criteria for IGD:

  • Persistent and recurrent use of Internet to engage in games with other players, leading to clinically significant impairment. This includes a preoccupation with Internet games, which become the dominant activity in daily life. It is also distinct from Internet gambling, which falls under the Gambling Disorder criteria.
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Tolerance – need to increase time and money spent on gaming
  • Unsuccessful attempts to control participation in games
  • Loss of interest in previous hobbies and entertainment, with the exception of Internet games
  • Continued Internet use for games despite knowledge of psychosocial problems
  • Have deceived family members, therapists, etc., regarding the amount of Internet gaming
  • Use of Internet games as escape
  • Jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of Internet games

These criteria have been recommended to facilitate research. At least five of these criteria must be present for the IGD diagnosis.

Cinco shared the controversy surrounding IGD. She explained that one such problem is the terminology, as it creates confusion with Internet addiction and pathological computer use. Some would also question whether it is even a bona fide disorder, given that no addictive substances are involved. However, Cinco said, IGD is presented as a behavioral addiction, in the same way that gambling is an addiction, not a disorder of impulse control like kleptomania. Similar to gambling, it is also behavior that takes place repeatedly over time, according to her info.

Another source of confusion is the definition of Internet addiction per se. Is it addiction to general Internet use? Or is it an addiction to certain behaviors or activities that happen to take place online? Others have suggested that Internet addiction is an umbrella term referring to different addictions that take place online.

This is Part 1 of a two-part feature. Read Part 2 here

Learn more about APSB2015 on its website and Facebook page. For details on the topics discussed in the conference, check out this program.

Check out photos from the event on Facebook and live social media coverage on Twitter!

One Comment on ““#APSB2015: (1/2) Is your child addicted to the Internet?”

  1. Pingback: #APSB2015: (2/2) Biggest gathering of advocates of child protection held in Cebu | Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network (MP-KNN)

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