Therapeutic mechanisms of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement for internet gaming disorder: Reducing craving and addictive behavior by targeting cognitive processes

Wen Li, Eric L. Garland, Matthew O. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is characterized by signs and symptoms similar to substance use and gambling disorders, and associated with psychosocial impairments. Research suggests that maladaptive gaming-related cognitions and coping may be implicated in IGD; therefore, interventions for IGD need to target these underlying mechanisms. Mindfulness-based treatment is effective in changing maladaptive cognitive processes and increasing adaptive coping among people with addictions. Aims: This study used data from an RCT of Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) for IGD to further examine changes in maladaptive gaming-related cognitions and positive reappraisal as mediators of the effects of MORE on IGD signs/symptoms. Methods: Participants (N = 30, Age M = 25.0, SD  = 5.4) were randomized to 8-weekly sessions of MORE or a support group (SG) control condition. IGD severity, levels of craving for video game playing, maladaptive gaming-related cognitions, and positive reappraisal were measured at pre-and posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Results: Multivariate path analyses revealed that effects of MORE in reducing IGD and craving were statistically mediated by changes in maladaptive gaming-related cognitions. Though changes in positive reappraisal did not significantly mediate effects of MORE on IGD or craving, MORE enhanced positive reappraisal to a significantly greater extent than the SG at posttreatment. Discussion: Findings suggest that effects of mindfulness treatment in reducing maladaptive gaming-related cognitions might lead to reductions in IGD severity and cravings for video game playing. This cognitive mechanism should be evaluated in a future, full-scale RCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Volume37
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Internet gaming disorder
  • MORE
  • cognitive reappraisal
  • maladaptive cognitions
  • mindfulness treatment

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