Purpose of Review: The present study aimed to review the literature concerning the relationship between problematic online gaming (POG) and social anxiety, taking into account the variables implicated in this relationship. This review included studies published between 2010 and 2020 that were indexed in major databases with the following keywords: Internet gaming, disorder, addiction, problematic, social phobia, and social anxiety. Recent Findings: In recent years, scientific interest in POG has grown dramatically. Within this prolific research field, difficulties associated with social anxiety have been increasingly explored in relation to POG. Indeed, evidence showed that individuals who experience social anxiety are more exposed to the risk of developing an excessive or addictive gaming behavior. Summary: A total of 30 studies satisfied the initial inclusion criteria and were included in the present literature review. Several reviewed studies found a strong association between social anxiety and online gaming disorder. Furthermore, the relationships among social anxiety, POG, age, and psychosocial and comorbid factors were largely explored. Overall, the present review showed that socially anxious individuals might perceive online video games as safer social environments than face-to-face interactions, predisposing individuals to the POG. However, in a mutually reinforcing relationship, individuals with higher POG seem to show higher social anxiety. Therefore, despite online gaming might represent an activity able to alleviate psychopathological symptoms and/or negative emotional states, people might use online gaming to counterbalance distress or negative situations in everyday life, carrying out a maladaptive coping strategy.

Evidence on Problematic Online Gaming and Social Anxiety over the Past Ten Years: a Systematic Literature Review

Gioia F.;Colella G. M.;Boursier V.
2022

Abstract

Purpose of Review: The present study aimed to review the literature concerning the relationship between problematic online gaming (POG) and social anxiety, taking into account the variables implicated in this relationship. This review included studies published between 2010 and 2020 that were indexed in major databases with the following keywords: Internet gaming, disorder, addiction, problematic, social phobia, and social anxiety. Recent Findings: In recent years, scientific interest in POG has grown dramatically. Within this prolific research field, difficulties associated with social anxiety have been increasingly explored in relation to POG. Indeed, evidence showed that individuals who experience social anxiety are more exposed to the risk of developing an excessive or addictive gaming behavior. Summary: A total of 30 studies satisfied the initial inclusion criteria and were included in the present literature review. Several reviewed studies found a strong association between social anxiety and online gaming disorder. Furthermore, the relationships among social anxiety, POG, age, and psychosocial and comorbid factors were largely explored. Overall, the present review showed that socially anxious individuals might perceive online video games as safer social environments than face-to-face interactions, predisposing individuals to the POG. However, in a mutually reinforcing relationship, individuals with higher POG seem to show higher social anxiety. Therefore, despite online gaming might represent an activity able to alleviate psychopathological symptoms and/or negative emotional states, people might use online gaming to counterbalance distress or negative situations in everyday life, carrying out a maladaptive coping strategy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/880565
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