Gaming Disorders & their Association with Mental Disorders for African Countries

Research Paper Title

Insomnia, Sleepiness, Anxiety and Depression Among Different Types of Gamers in African Countries.

Background

Gaming has increasingly become a part of life in Africa. Currently, no data on gaming disorders or their association with mental disorders exist for African countries.

This study for the first time investigated:

  1. The prevalence of insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, anxiety and depression among African gamers;
  2. The association between these conditions and gamer types (i.e. non-problematic, engaged, problematic and addicted); and
  3. The predictive power of socioeconomic markers (education, age, income, marital status, employment status) on these conditions.

Methods

10,566 people from 2 low- (Rwanda, Gabon), 6 lower-middle (Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Ivory Coast) and 1 upper-middle income countries (South Africa) completed online questionnaires containing validated measures on insomnia, sleepiness, anxiety, depression and gaming addiction.

Results

Results showed the sample of gamers (24 ± 2.8 yrs; 88.64% Male), 30% were addicted, 30% were problematic, 8% were engaged and 32% were non-problematic.

Gaming significantly contributed to 86.9% of the variance in insomnia, 82.7% of the variance in daytime sleepiness and 82.3% of the variance in anxiety [p < 0.001].

Conclusions

This study establishes the prevalence of gaming, mood and sleep disorders, in a large African sample.

The results corroborate previous studies, reporting problematic and addicted gamers show poorer health outcomes compared with non-problematic gamers.

Reference

Sosso, F.A.E, Kuss, D.J., Vandelanotte, C., Jasso-Medrano, J.L., Husain, M.E., Curcio, G., Papadopoulos, D., Aseem, A., Bhati, P., Lopez-Rosales, F., Becerra, J.R., D’Aurizio, G., Mansouri, H., Khoury, T., Campbell, M. & Toth, A.J. (2020) Insomnia, Sleepiness, Anxiety and Depression Among Different Types of Gamers in African Countries. Scientific Reports. 10(1):1937. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-58462-0.

Is It Really Addiction?

An interesting article in the New Scientist around addiction, specifically gaming disorder.

“For Ian and others like him, video games feel as addictive as a drug.

In May, the World Health Organization (WHO) reached a similar conclusion, including gaming disorder in its International Classification of Diseases for the first time.

Studies suggest that between 0.3 and 1 per cent of the general population might qualify for a diagnosis.

In the UK, plans are under way to open the first National Health Service-funded internet addiction centre, which will initially focus on gaming disorder.

But some argue that to pathologise problematic gaming as an addiction is a mistake.

In 2017, a group of 24 academics argued against attributing this behaviour to a new disorder.” (Sarner, 2019, p.42).

You can read the full article below.

Reference

Sarner, M. (2019) Is It Really Addiction? New Scientist. 14 September 2019, pp.42-47.