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Description: Playing digital games is currently considered the most subjectively important and most frequent leisure-time activity, not only for children and adolescents but also for adults. In 2017, digital games were played by 2.2 billion people worldwide. A small proportion of players will develop a pathological pattern of gaming, i.e., addiction, which has been included in the International Classification of Diseases ICD-11 under the name Internet Gaming Disorder. From the available data on the prevalence of IGD among players, the estimates range between 2% and 27.5% (Mihara & Higuchi, 2017), which represents 44 million players even at the lower, most optimistic bound. Large differences in the reported prevalence estimates are related to unresolved issues present in every aspect of the IGD research, from missing theory, the lack of consensus in diagnostic criteria, and substantial differences in measures. Based on the review of a past body of research, this project aims: (1) to validate the existing measurement of the nine IGD criteria presented in DSM-5 and ICD 11. To propose and to validate measurement of new criteria developed on the basis of alternative IGD theories and qualitative phenomenological study; (2) to identify which of the symptoms (criteria) are central and which are peripheral using the network approach, identify their strength, relationships and their pervasiveness; (3) to identify IGD risk factors and simultaneous occurrence of symptoms of multiple disorders in a longitudinal study; and (4) to develop and validate new questionnaire measuring IGD through its symptoms. To be able to achieve these goals, we will use both, latent variable approach and network approach, which has not been used in the IGD research yet. As these main goals are closely interrelated, it is not appropriate to treat them as separate lines of research, e.g., the identification of central symptoms, the most important for the diagnostics of IGD, may be helpful in the process of gathering criterion aspects of validity for individual criteria and risk factors. It is possible that central symptoms will enable to distinguish between pathological gaming from non-pathological and central risk factors will be those with the highest addictive nature. All the research activities will be carried out in accordance with the rigorous practices of open science. „This project is supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the Contract no. APVV-18-0140“.

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