Internet Gaming Disorder and Mental Health of Pakistani Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study




IGD, Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Adolescents


The escalating prevalence of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) worldwide has prompted heightened concern about its potential impact on the mental health of adolescents. In the context of Pakistan, a country experiencing rapid technological advancements, the intersection of IGD and mental health remains underexplored. This cross-sectional study examines IGD and mental health in adolescent boys (N = 240) and girls (N = 136) who play online games, recruited via a convenient sampling technique. The study also examines the mental health of Gamers (G1) and Non-gamers (G2). The results of two-way ANOVA show that adolescent boys and girls differ in IGD, depression, anxiety, and stress scores. In addition, results indicated evidence of the significance of the main effect for the assessment of Depression with F (1,374) = [4.105], p = .043, Anxiety with F (1,374) = [4.618], p = .032, and Stress with F (1,374) = [4.934], p = .027 respectively. Further results of Mixed Factorial ANOVA indicated significant differences in the mental health of G1 and G2, male and female participants. The findings emphasize the importance of monitoring and regulating adolescents’ gaming behaviors, especially excessive gaming. Parents, educators, and healthcare professionals can help identify adolescents at risk of IGD and provide appropriate support and therapies. Promoting appropriate gaming habits and preventing the detrimental effects of excessive gaming in adolescents is essential.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

  • Ambreen Fatima, Senior Lecturer/Incharge, Department of Professional Psychology, Bahria University Islamabad Campus, Islamabad, Pakistan.


Agbaria, Q. (2020). Internet Addiction and Aggression: The Mediating Roles of Self-Control and Positive Affect. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 19(4), 1227-1242.

Alhamoud, M., Alkhalifah, A., Althunyan, A., Mustafa, T., Alqahtani, H., & Al Awad, F. (2022). Internet gaming disorder: Its prevalence and associated gaming behavior, anxiety, and depression among high school male students, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Family and Community Medicine, 29(2), 93.

American Psychiatric Association. (2022). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed., Text Revision, American Psychiatric Publishing, 5(5),

Biswas, P. R., Ahammed, B., Rahman, Md. S., Nirob, B. M., & Hossain, Md. T. (2022). Prevalence and determinants of internet addiction among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh: An online cross-sectional study. Heliyon, 8(7), e09967.

Bottino, M. (2021). Study on the effects of children's screen time activity on their mental health and brain structure (Doctoral dissertation, Politecnico di Torino). 1-68.

Buono, F. D., Paul, E., Sprong, M. E., Smith, E. C., Garakani, A., & Griffiths, M. D. (2020). Gaming and Gaming Disorder: A Mediation Model Gender, Salience, Age of Gaming Onset, and Time Spent Gaming. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 23(9), 647–651.

Caldera, K. (2022). Is Social Media Prolonging Identity Commitment? The Effects of Social Media Use on Adolescent Identity Formation (Doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University).

Chung, S. J., Jang, J. H., Lee, J. Y., Choi, A., Kim, B. M., Park, M. K., Jung, M. H., & Choi, J.-S. (2020). Self-Efficacy and Clinical Characteristics in Casual Gamers Compared to Excessive Gaming Users and Non-Gamers in Young Adults. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(9), 2720.

Fatima, A., Ambreen, F., & Amin, R. (2023). Internet Gaming Disorder and Competitiveness: A Cross-Sectional Study. Qlantic Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 4(4), 248-259.

Fazeli, S., Mohammadi Zeidi, I., Lin, C.-Y., Namdar, P., Griffiths, M. D., Ahorsu, D. K., & Pakpour, A. H. (2020). Depression, anxiety, and stress mediate the associations between internet gaming disorder, insomnia, and quality of life during the COVID-19 outbreak. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 12, 100307.

Fumero, A., Marrero, R. J., Bethencourt, J. M., & Peñate, W. (2020). Risk factors of internet gaming disorder symptoms in Spanish adolescents. Computers in Human Behavior, 111, 106416.

Gan, X., Qin, K., Li, M., Li, H., Jin, X., & Yu, C. (2022). The relationship between positive youth development and internet gaming disorder in Chinese adolescents: A moderated mediation model. PLOS ONE, 17(11), e0276174.

Ghous, A. K. (2014). Problematic Online Gaming in Pakistan. International Journal of Science and Research, 3(6), 22522.

Gomez, R., Stavropoulos, V., Tullett-Prado, D., Schivinski, B., & Chen, W. (2022). Network analyses of internet gaming disorder symptoms and their links with different types of motivation. BMC Psychiatry, 22(1), 76.

Gu, M. (2020). A longitudinal study of daily hassles, internet expectancy, self-control, and problematic internet use in Chinese adolescents: A moderated mediation model. Personality and Individual Differences, 152, 109571.

Huang, X., Shi, H., Li, H., Guo, W., Luo, D., & Xu, J. (2022). Differential Effects of Anxiety on Internet Gaming Disorder: A Large-Scale Cross-Sectional Survey. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 802513.

Imataka, G., Sakuta, R., Maehashi, A., & Yoshihara, S. (2022). Current Status of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) in Japan: New Lifestyle-Related Disease in Children and Adolescents. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11(15), 4566.

Kakul, F., & Javed, S. (2023). Internet gaming disorder: an interplay of cognitive psychopathology. Asian Journal of Social Health and Behavior, 6(1), 36.

Khalafi, F. (2022). Motivations to Play and Mental Health in Video Game Players (Doctoral dissertation, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology). 1-100.

Khalid, A., & Mukhtar, N. (2022). Internet Gaming Disorder and Mental Health in Pakistani youth: A Path Analysis with Impulsivity and Emotional Intelligence.

Koban, K., Biehl, J., Bornemeier, J., & Ohler, P. (2021). Compensatory video gaming. Gaming behaviours and adverse outcomes and the moderating role of stress, social interaction anxiety, and loneliness. Behaviour & Information Technology, 41(13), 1–18.

Lin, P.-C., Yen, J.-Y., Lin, H.-C., Chou, W.-P., Liu, T.-L., & Ko, C.-H. (2021). Coping, Resilience, and Perceived Stress in Individuals with Internet Gaming Disorder in Taiwan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(4), 1771.

Macur, M., & Pontes, H. M. (2021). Internet gaming disorder in adolescence: Investigating profiles and associated risk factors. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1–9.

Marchica, L. A., Mills, D. J., Keough, M. T., & Derevensky, J. L. (2020). Exploring Differences Among Video Gamers With and Without Depression: Contrasting Emotion Regulation and Mindfulness. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 23(2), 119–125.

Melodia, F., Canale, N., & Griffiths, M. D. (2020). The role of avoidance coping and escape motives in problematic online gaming: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 20 1-27.

Musetti, A., Manari, T., Billieux, J., Starcevic, V., & Schimmenti, A. (2022). Problematic social networking sites use and attachment: A systematic review. Computers in Human Behavior, 107199.

Ostinelli, E. G., Zangani, C., Giordano, B., Maestri, D., Gambini, O., D’Agostino, A., Furukawa, T. A., & Purgato, M. (2021). Depressive symptoms and depression in individuals with internet gaming disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 284, 136–142.

Pallavicini, F., Pepe, A., & Mantovani, F. (2022). The Effects of Playing Video Games on Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Loneliness, and Gaming Disorder During the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic: PRISMA Systematic Review. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 25(6), 334-354.

Pontes, H. M., & Griffiths, M. D. (2015). Measuring DSM-5 internet gaming disorder: Development and validation of a short psychometric scale. Computers in Human Behavior, 45, 137–143.

Rettner, R. (2019). Video Game Addiction Becomes Official Mental Disorder in Controversial Decision by WHO.

Soares, A. S., Pais-Ribeiro, J. L., & Silva, I. (2019). Developmental Assets Predictors of Life Satisfaction in Adolescents. Frontiers in Psychology, 10.

Su, W., Han, X., Yu, H., Wu, Y., & Potenza, M. N. (2020). Do men become addicted to internet gaming and women to social media? A meta-analysis examining gender-related differences in specific internet addiction. Computers in Human Behavior, 113, 106480.

Sun, Y. (2023). The role of family on internet addiction: A model analysis of co-parenting effect. Cogent Social Sciences, 9(1),

Teng, Z., Pontes, H. M., Nie, Q., Griffiths, M. D., & Guo, C. (2021). Depression and anxiety symptoms associated with internet gaming disorder before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal study. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 10(1), 169–180.

Teng, Z., Pontes, H. M., Nie, Q., Xiang, G., Griffiths, M. D., & Guo, C. (2020). Internet gaming disorder and psychosocial well-being: A longitudinal study of older-aged adolescents and emerging adults. Addictive Behaviors, 110, 106530.

Tovar, M., Rosillo, M., & Spaniardi, A. (2023). Social Media’s Influence on Identity Formation and Self Expression. Teens, Screens, and Social Connection, 49–61.

Wang, P., Pan, R., Wu, X., Zhu, G., Wang, Y., Tian, M., Sun, Y., & Wang, J. (2022). Reciprocal associations between shyness, depression, and Internet gaming disorder among Chinese adolescents: A cross-lagged panel study. Addictive Behaviors, 129, 107256.

Wartberg, L., Kriston, L., Zieglmeier, M., Lincoln, T., & Kammerl, R. (2018). A longitudinal study on psychosocial causes and consequences of Internet gaming disorder in adolescence. Psychological Medicine, 49(2), 287–294.

Wong, H. Y., Mo, H. Y., Potenza, M. N., Chan, M. N. M., Lau, W. M., Chui, T. K., Pakpour, A. H., & Lin, C.-Y. (2020). Relationships between Severity of Internet Gaming Disorder, Severity of Problematic Social Media Use, Sleep Quality and Psychological Distress. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(6), 1879.

Xiang, G.-X., Gan, X., Jin, X., Zhang, Y.-H., & Zhu, C.-S. (2022). Developmental Assets, Self-Control and Internet Gaming Disorder in Adolescence: Testing a Moderated Mediation Model in a Longitudinal Study. Frontiers in Public Health, 10.

Yang, X., Ebo, T. O., Wong, K., & Wang, X. (2023). Relationships between psychological flexibility and internet gaming disorder among adolescents: Mediation effects of depression and maladaptive cognitions. PLOS ONE, 18(2), e0281269.

Yu, Y., Mo, P. K. H., Zhang, J., Li, J., & Lau, J. T. F. (2020). Why is Internet gaming disorder more prevalent among Chinese male than female adolescents? The role of cognitive mediators. Addictive Behaviors, 112, 106637.

Zahra, S., Kiani, S., & Shahbaz, K. (2019). Internet Gaming Disorder: An Emerging Addiction among Pakistani University Students. 5(1), 87–104.

Zhu, K., Xie, X., Liu, Q., Meng, H., & Song, R. (2022). Internet addiction: Prevalence and relationship with academic burnout among undergraduates during widespread online learning. Perspectives in psychiatric care, 58(4), 2303-2309.







How to Cite

Fatima, A., Ambreen, F., & Amin, R. (2024). Internet Gaming Disorder and Mental Health of Pakistani Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study. Qlantic Journal of Social Sciences, 5(2), 13-25.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 37

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.