Maladaptive Coping Styles in Adolescents with Internet Gaming Disorder Symptoms

Luke A. Schneider, Daniel L. King, Paul H. Delfabbro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Problematic Internet gaming represents a potential public health concern due to its negative consequences for players and their families. It has been argued that disordered gaming may manifest more readily in vulnerable individuals who lack alternative means of coping. This study investigated Internet gaming disorder (IGD) in relation to coping, including emotion- and problem-focused coping styles. The sample was 823 adolescents (402 males) recruited from secondary schools. Participants completed surveys including the DSM-5 IGD checklist and the Brief COPE. Symptoms of IGD were significantly positively related to denial and behavioural disengagement but were not related to 10 other coping styles. Hours spent gaming and denial coping were the strongest predictors of IGD symptoms. These findings suggest that IGD may co-occur with a tendency toward denial coping, highlighting the significant challenge for practitioners in obtaining reliable assessment by self-report and developing an effective therapeutic alliance in interventions for adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-916
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Adolescents
  • Coping
  • Denial
  • DSM-5
  • Internet gaming disorder


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