Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has been included in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-5). In the present study, the relationship among social support, friends only known through the Internet, health-related quality of life, and IGD in adolescence was explored for the first time. For this purpose, 1,095 adolescents aged from 12 to 14 years were surveyed with a standardized questionnaire concerning IGD, self-perceived social support, proportion of friends only known through the Internet, and health-related quality of life. The authors conducted unpaired t-tests, a chi-square test, as well as correlation and logistic regression analyses. According to the statistical analyses, adolescents with IGD reported lower self-perceived social support, more friends only known through the Internet, and a lower health-related quality of life compared with the group without IGD. Both in bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models, statistically significant associations between IGD and male gender, a higher proportion of friends only known through the Internet, and a lower health-related quality of life (multivariate model: Nagelkerke's R2 = 0.37) were revealed. Lower self-perceived social support was related to IGD in the bivariate model only. In summary, quality of life and social aspects seem to be important factors for IGD in adolescence and therefore should be incorporated in further (longitudinal) studies. The findings of the present survey may provide starting points for the development of prevention and intervention programs for adolescents affected by IGD.
Keywords: Internet Gaming Disorder; Internet addiction; adolescence; friend; quality of life; social support.