Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Advisor(s)

HAROLD W. (BILL) KOHL, III, BA, MSPH, PHD

Second Advisor

BAOJIANG CHEN, BS, MS, PHD

Abstract

Online gaming activities among adolescents and adults has increased exponentially in the last decade, and mental health issues associated with excessive gaming have drawn attention from health care professionals worldwide (Griffith, 2016). Recognizing this trend, American Psychiatric Association (APA) categorized gaming disorder/addiction as a mental health condition in 2013 in an effort to prevent the expansion of relevant mental health issues (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared gaming disorder/addiction as a mental health disease, (World Health Organization, 2018). As a result of this declaration, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has established nine diagnostic criteria. One of the primary diagnostic criteria for gaming disorder from the DSM-5 is prolonged hours of gaming. Although prolonged hours of gaming are a necessary but not sufficient diagnostic criterion, one should not be diagnosed as having gaming disorder without spending prolonged period of time on gaming. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider prolonged hours of gaming as a major risk factor for gaming disorder/addiction, and those engaged in prolonged hours of gaming are among the population at risk. Estimating the size of the population at risk of gaming disorder/addiction is a step closer to the estimation of the prevalence of gaming disorder/addiction. There are prevalence estimates on the national level from a previous research (Lee, 2017), but there are no studies done on the prevalence estimates of population at risk in Texas yet.

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