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Self-Efficacy And Clinical Characteristics In Casual Gamers Compared To Excessive Gaming Users And Non-Gamers In Young Adults

Sun Ju Chung, Joon Hwan Jang, Ji Yoon Lee, Aruem Choi, Bo Mi Kim, Min Kyung Park, Myung Hun Jung, Jung-Seok Choi

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This study investigated differences in the self-efficacy and clinical characteristics which were found relevant to addictive behaviors in young adults according to time spent gaming. To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore self-efficacy in casual gamers relative to patients with internet gaming disorder (IGD) and non-gamers. In total, 158 young adults participated in this study and were divided into three groups: excessive gamers, who were diagnosed with IGD based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-fifth edition (DSM-5, n = 71); casual gamers, who played games regularly but did not meet the criteria for IGD (n = 37); and non-gamers/controls, who did not engage in gaming (n = 50). All participants completed self-administered questionnaires, including measures of self-efficacy and clinical features such as the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Behavioral Activation/Inhibition Systems, aggression, and psychosocial well-being. There were significant differences in the self-efficacy according to the extent of gaming (excessive gamers < casual gamers < non-gamers). In addition, aggression, impulsivity, depression, anxiety, level of stress, and behavioral inhibition system scores were significantly higher in excessive gamers than in casual gamers and non-gamers. These findings showed that individuals who spend more time playing games tend to have lower self-efficacy. Our study suggests that self-efficacy may protect against or constitute a risk of excessive gaming, particularly among casual gamers. It is necessary to pay attention to enhancing psychological well-being through self-efficacy to prevent addiction in young adult gamers.