Publications by authors named "Mark D Griffiths"

453 Publications

Fear of COVID-19 and workplace phobia among Pakistani doctors: A survey study.

BMC Public Health 2021 04 30;21(1):833. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Avicenna Medical and Dental College, Lahore, Pakistan.

Background: The novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has seriously affected the lives of millions of people across the world. It has also heavily burdened healthcare professionals and the virus poses serious risks for their personal and professional lives. Therefore, the present study examined the associations between fear of COVID-19 and workplace phobia among doctors in Pakistan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: An online survey was conducted among 421 doctors in Pakistan between April 10 and May 25, 2020. The Workplace Phobia Scale (WPS) and the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) were the main psychometric instruments used in this study.

Results: There was a significant positive relationship between fear of COVID-19 and workplace panic anxiety and workplace avoidance behavior. Significantly higher fear of COVID-19 was found among (i) females compared to males, (ii) doctors with 5 years or less of work experience compared to those with more than 5 years, and (iii) postgraduate trainees compared with other ranks. Two groups (doctors who were above 30 years old and postgraduate trainees) were found to have higher levels of workplace phobia compared to their counterparts. Doctors with severe levels of fear of COVID-19 had significantly higher levels of workplace panic anxiety and workplace avoidance behavior.

Conclusions: Fear of COVID-19 was significantly associated with workplace phobia which may negatively affect doctors' performance. Therefore, important steps are needed to protect doctors' health by providing sufficient resources to allay their fears and anxieties which consequently help them in carrying out their frontline duties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10873-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8086971PMC
April 2021

Motivation to Have COVID-19 Vaccination Explained Using an Extended Protection Motivation Theory among University Students in China: The Role of Information Sources.

Vaccines (Basel) 2021 Apr 13;9(4). Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Nursing, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, 55318 Jönköping, Sweden.

Background: The aims of the present study were to examine the prediction of the threat and coping appraisal utilizing an extended protection motivation theory (PMT) for the motivation to have COVID-19 vaccination and the influence of various information sources on coping appraisal among university students in China.

Methods: The sample comprised 3145 students from 43 universities in China who completed an online survey including PMT constructs as well as constructs added to PMT. The PMT constructs comprised motivation to have COVID-19 vaccination, threat appraisal, and coping appraisal. The extended PMT constructs comprised knowledge about mechanisms and information sources of COVID-19 vaccination.

Results: Perceived severity of COVID-19 was positively associated with motivation to have COVID-19 vaccination. Receiving information concerning COVID-19 vaccination from medical personnel was associated with greater self-efficacy, response efficacy, and knowledge, whereas receiving information concerning COVID-19 vaccination from coworkers/colleagues was associated with less response efficacy and knowledge. Receiving online information concerning COVID-19 vaccination was associated with greater response cost of vaccination efficacy and less knowledge.

Conclusions: This study supported the prediction of perceived severity in the PMT for motivation to have COVID-19 vaccination among university students in China. Vaccination information sources have different effects on students' coping appraisal of COVID-19 vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9040380DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8070343PMC
April 2021

Policy Recommendations for Preventing Problematic Internet Use in Schools: A Qualitative Study of Parental Perspectives.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 Apr 24;18(9). Epub 2021 Apr 24.

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK.

Parenting in the digital age has been characterized as one of the most challenging tasks of the modern era. Parents are ambivalent about their mediating role. However, problematic aspects of adolescent online use have not been adequately addressed in education. The present study investigated parental perceptions of intervention needs within schools to prevent excessive/problematic use, enhance parent-child communication, and reduce family conflicts. Nine interviews with parents of adolescents residing in the UK were carried out and analyzed utilizing thematic analysis. Three main themes emerged as parental proposals: (i) , (ii) to raise awareness, resolve ambiguity regarding impacts and mitigate excessive use and impacts, and (iii) . The third theme related to impacts from time spent on screens (time displacement), content-related impacts, and context-related impacts. The present study offers recommendations for media literacy during adolescence beyond e-safety (i.e., addressing interpersonal communication problems, privacy vs. disclosure issues), based on parents' views, and provides new insights for media and emotional health literacy collaboration efforts. Future work should investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of such interventions to support the emotional health of young people and prevent problematic internet use escalation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094522DOI Listing
April 2021

Internet-Related Behaviors and Psychological Distress Among Schoolchildren During the COVID-19 School Hiatus.

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw 2021 Apr 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

This study assessed the mediating roles of problematic gaming, problematic social media use, and problematic smartphone use in the associations between psychological distress and screen time use among primary school children during the school hiatus due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Students ( = 2,026; mean [standard deviation] age = 10.71 years [1.07]; 1,011 [49.9 percent] girls) in Sichuan, China completed a cross-sectional online survey, and this study was approved by the ethics committee of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (IRB ref: HSEARS20190718001). The Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short Form, Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale, and Smartphone Application-Based Addiction Scale were used to assess problematic gaming, social media use, and smartphone use. The Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale-21 was used to assess distress, and an item rated on a 0-10 scale was included to assess fear of being infected by COVID-19. Fear of being infected by COVID-19 was assessed because this could be a confounding variable in the association between psychological distress and screen time use. Increased time spent on gaming, social media, and smartphones was associated with greater problematic gaming, problematic social media use, problematic smartphone use, and psychological distress, but was not associated with fear of COVID-19 infection. Mediation analyses showed that problematic gaming, problematic social media use, and problematic smartphone use were significant mediators in the association between psychological distress and increased time spent on Internet-related activities during the COVID-19 outbreak period. Children who had psychological distress during COVID-19 outbreak might have spent longer time on Internet-related activities due to the school hiatus and problematic use of Internet-related activities. Parents/caregivers are recommended to monitor their children's use of Internet while encouraging children to engage in positive activities to ease the concern of negative psychological responses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2020.0497DOI Listing
April 2021

Correlates of Psychological Distress Among Pakistani Adults During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Parallel and Serial Mediation Analyses.

Front Psychol 2021 31;12:647821. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has greatly affected individual's lives around the world and resulted in various negative psychological consequences. During the pandemic, reflection on and attention to COVID-19 may help in dealing with its symptomology but frequent and persistent thoughts about the situation can be unhealthy. The present study examined the direct and indirect associations between obsession concerning COVID-19, psychological distress, life satisfaction, and meaning in life. This mediation study presents a primary analysis of normative data collected after the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in Pakistan. Parametric bootstrapping was used to test the mediation models of subjective well-being, the extent of the effect, and meaning in life as parallel and serial mediators concerning the associations between COVID-19 obsession and psychological distress measures. A sample of 1,002 adults (45% men and 55% women) were recruited utilizing an online survey between April to May 2020. They were aged between 19 and 45 years ( = 24.30, = 7.29) and normalized on population characteristics. Two out of three mediators in parallel mediation fully mediated the relationship between obsession and psychological distress (total effect = 0.443, = 0.050, < 0.0001) illustrating that high-level obsessions were associated with low levels of satisfaction with life and presence of meaning in life and search for meaning in life. Psychological distress is likely to decrease in the presence of a high level of satisfaction with life and meaning. Moreover, satisfaction with life and search for meaning in life significantly mediated the association between COVID-19 obsession (=-3.507, < .0001 and = -2.632, < 0.001 respectively). The present study showed that life satisfaction and search for meaning in life may play a significant role in decreasing psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.647821DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044417PMC
March 2021

Compensatory Usage of the Internet: The Case of Mukbang Watching on YouTube.

Psychiatry Investig 2021 Apr 15;18(4):269-276. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.

Objective: Accumulating empirical research has emphasized that a wide range of online activities-such as using social networking sites-can be performed in order to compensate unattained needs or to cope with negative affect and psychopathological symptoms. Although the correlates of problematic social networking use have been extensively investigated, less is known about problematic YouTube use (PYU), an umbrella term grouping a number of different activities (e.g., viewing of online video games, watching specific YouTube channels). Furthermore, nothing is known concerning increasingly popular and distinct YouTube-related activities such as mukbang watching (i.e., watching livestream "eating broadcasts" where someone eats various foods in front of the camera while interacting with viewers). The aim of the present study was to examine the mediating role of problematic mukbang watching (PMW) on the relationships between depression and loneliness with PYU.

Methods: An online survey that comprised assessment tools for aforementioned variables was administered to 217 mukbang viewers (mean age=20.58 years, range 18-33 years).

Results: Results indicated that PMW was positively related to loneliness and PYU. Depression was positively and directly associated with PYU but was not associated with PMW.

Conclusion: Further research is required to better understand the psychological processes underlying problematic mukbang watching and its association with other mental health conditions (e.g., addictive disorders, eating disorders).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.30773/pi.2019.0340DOI Listing
April 2021

Theoretical conceptualisations of problematic exercise in psychometric assessment instruments: A systematic review.

J Behav Addict 2021 Apr 2. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

2Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, UK.

Background And Aims: The aim of the present systematic review was to identify psychometric tools developed to assess problematic exercise in order to identify and compare their theoretical conceptualisations on which they are based.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in the electronic databases Web of Science, Scielo, PsychINFO, PsycTEST and SCOPUS from their inception to January 2020.

Results: Seventeen assessment instruments met the eligibility criteria to be included in the present review. The instruments were classified according to their conceptualisation into five groups: (i) problematic exercise as an end of an exercise continuum, (ii) problematic exercise as a means of regulating body size and weight, (iii) problematic exercise as dependence, (iv) problematic exercise as a behavioural addiction and (v) no clear conceptualisation.

Discussion: The results suggest that the conceptualisations of the assessment instruments have resulted in a strong dichotomy in relation to the primary or secondary character of the problematic exercise that might be limiting the capacity of the instruments to adequately capture the multidimensionality of this construct.

Conclusions: Given the interest in understanding the complexity surrounding the problematic exercise, future research should develop more comprehensive definitions of this construct. This would allow a greater conceptual consensus to be reached that would allow progress to be made in the study of the problematic exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/2006.2021.00019DOI Listing
April 2021

Measurement Invariance of the Drivers of COVID-19 Vaccination Acceptance Scale: Comparison between Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese-Speaking Populations.

Vaccines (Basel) 2021 Mar 22;9(3). Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Department of Nursing, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, 55318 Jönköping, Sweden.

The impacts of novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on human life continue to be serious. To control the spread of COVID-19, the production of effective vaccines is likely to be one of the best solutions. However, vaccination hesitancy may decrease individuals' willingness to get vaccinated. The Drivers of COVID-19 Vaccination Acceptance Scale (DrVac-COVID19S) was recently developed to help healthcare professionals and researchers better understand vaccination acceptance. The present study examined whether DrVac-COVID19S is measurement invariant across different subgroups (Taiwanese vs. mainland Chinese university students; males vs. females; and health-related program majors vs. non-health-related program majors). Taiwanese ( = 761; mean age = 25.51 years; standard deviation (SD) = 6.42; 63.5% females) and mainland Chinese university students ( = 3145; mean age = 20.72 years; SD = 2.06; 50.2% females) were recruited using an online survey between 5 January and 21 February 2021. Factor structure and measurement invariance of the two DrVac-COVID19S scales (nine-item and 12-item) were tested using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The findings indicated that the DrVac-COVID19S had a four-factor structure and was measurement invariant across the subgroups. The DrVac-COVID19S's four-factor structure was supported by the CFA results is a practical and valid instrument to quickly capture university students' willingness to get COVID-19 vaccination. Moreover, the DrVac-COVID19S can be used to compare university students' underlying reasons to get COVID-19 vaccination among different subgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030297DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004810PMC
March 2021

Perceived Challenges and Online Harms from Social Media Use on a Severity Continuum: A Qualitative Psychological Stakeholder Perspective.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 20;18(6). Epub 2021 Mar 20.

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK.

Evidence suggests that problematic use of gaming, the internet, and social media among adolescents is on the rise, affecting multiple psycho-emotional domains. However, research providing a comprehensive and triangulated stakeholder perspective of perceived harms is lacking. How are adolescent online harms experienced and conceptualized by students, parents, and teachers? The present study comprised part of a qualitative needs assessment investigation with the use of focus groups and individual interviews among key stakeholder groups assessing perceived impacts with a focus on the negative consequences and perceived harms. The study's sample consisted of students ( = 42, = 13.5, = 2.3), parents ( = 9, = 37, = 5.6) and teachers ( = 9, 34, = 4.9) from the UK. Data were analysed with thematic analysis. Findings focused primarily on social media use impacts and indicated that processes underlying impacts experienced by adolescents may be conceptualized on a severity continuum. Stakeholder consensus on perceptions of challenges and perceived harms formed the second theme, with impacts further analysed as relating to time displacement, peer judgement, sensory overload and context of the adolescent with functional (performance, task switching, use of multiple devices), cognitive (loss or deterioration of attentional focus, attention deficit), and emotional consequences (stress, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive/checking behaviours). A third theme formed was individual vulnerabilities predisposing poor mental health outcomes. The final theme related to impacts dependent on context and meaning attached. Findings suggest a consideration of a spectrum approach encompassing a broader range of potential psychological challenges and perceived harms beyond safety concerns and addiction in understanding problematic adolescent online experiences. Understanding perceived harms can aid the objective setting of interventions and consideration of mental health literacy in school curricula.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063227DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8003875PMC
March 2021

In search of the optimum structural model for Internet Gaming Disorder.

BMC Psychiatry 2021 04 1;21(1):176. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.

Background: Internet gaming Disorder (IGD) constitutes a recently proposed clinical disorder (American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 2013). The present study examined if IGD is best conceptualized as categorical (present/absent), or dimensional (severity ranging from low to high), or both (i.e., hybrid of categorical/dimensional).

Methods: Ratings of the nine DSM-5 IGD symptoms, as presented in the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale 9-Short Form (Pontes & Griffiths, Comput Hum Behav 45:137-143, 2015), from 738 gamers, aged 17 to 72 years, were collected. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), latent class analysis (LCA), and factor mixture modelling analysis (FMMA) procedures were applied to determine the optimum IGD model.

Results: Although the findings showed most support for a FFMA model with two classes and one factor, there was also good statistical and substantive support for the one-factor CFA model, and the LCA model with three classes.

Conclusion: It was concluded that while the optimum structure of IGD is most likely to be a hybrid model (i.e., concurrently categorical and dimensional), a uni-dimensional model and/or a three-class categorical model are also plausible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12888-021-03148-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8015185PMC
April 2021

Exploring the public's perception of gambling addiction on Twitter during the COVID-19 pandemic: Topic modelling and sentiment analysis.

J Addict Dis 2021 Mar 29:1-19. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.

The present study explored the topics and sentiment associated with gambling addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic, using topic modeling and sentiment analysis on tweets in English posted between 17-24 April 2020. The study was exploratory in nature, with its main objective consisting of inductively identifying topics embedded in user-generated content. We found that a five-topic model was the best in representing the data corpus, including: (i) the public's perception of gambling addiction amid the COVID-19 outbreak, (ii) risks and support available for those who stay at home, (iii) the users' interpretation of gambling addiction, (iv) forms of gambling during the pandemic, and (v) gambling advertising and impact on families. Sentiment analysis showed a prevalence of underlying fear, trust, sadness, and anger, across the corpus. Users viewed the pandemic as a driver of problematic gambling behaviors, possibly exposing unprepared individuals and communities to forms of online gambling, with potential long-term consequences and a significant impact on health systems. Despite the limitations of the study, we hypothesize that enhancing the presence of mental health operators and practitioners treating problem gambling on social media might positively impact public mental health and help prevent health services from being overwhelmed, in times when healthcare resources are limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10550887.2021.1897064DOI Listing
March 2021

Exploring the Dimensions of Smartphone Distraction: Development, Validation, Measurement Invariance, and Latent Mean Differences of the Smartphone Distraction Scale (SDS).

Front Psychiatry 2021 8;12:642634. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Distraction is a functional emotion regulation strategy utilized to relieve emotional distress. Within the attention economy perspective, distraction is increasingly associated with digital technology use, performance impairments and interference with higher-order cognitive processes. Research on smartphone distraction and its association with problematic smartphone use is still scarce and there is no available psychometric assessment tool to assess this cognitive and emotive process parsimoniously. The present study reports the development and evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Smartphone Distraction Scale (SDS) through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, construct validity, gender invariance, and latent mean differences. The study was conducted in a sample of British university students ( = 1,001; = 21.10 years, = 2.77). The 16-item SDS was best conceptualized in a four-factor model solution comprising , and . Construct validity was established using relevant psychosocial and mental health measures, with SDS scores being moderately associated with deficient self-regulation and problematic social media use. Gender measurement invariance was achieved at the configural, metric, and scalar levels, and latent mean differences indicated that females had significantly higher means than males across all four SDS latent factors. The SDS presents with several strengths, including its theoretical grounding, relatively short length, and sound psychometric properties. The SDS enables the assessment of distraction, which appears to be one of the pathways to problematic smartphone use facilitating overuse and overreliance on smartphones for emotion regulation processes. The assessment of distraction in relation to problematic use in vulnerable populations may facilitate interventions that could encourage metacognition and benefit these groups by allowing sustained productivity in an increasingly disrupted work and social environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.642634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7982468PMC
March 2021

The Moderating Role of Coping Mechanisms and Being an e-Sport Player Between Psychiatric Symptoms and Gaming Disorder: Online Survey.

JMIR Ment Health 2021 Mar 23;8(3):e21115. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.

Background: The emerging popularity of playing video games (gaming) as a hobby and as a professional sport raises awareness about both the benefits and possible downsides of the activity. Although a healthy and passionate hobby for most, a minority of gamers experience addiction-like symptoms and are considered to have gaming disorder (GD). GD has previously been found to be related to aversive conditions, such as depression or anxiety, as well as putatively maladaptive coping strategies.

Objective: The aim of this study is twofold: to explore the moderating effect of different coping strategies and type of video game usage (professional [e-sport] or recreational) on the relationship between psychiatric symptoms and GD.

Methods: A sample of 3476 gamers (n=3133, 90.13% males; mean age 23.20, SD 6.48 years) was recruited via the website and social networking site of the most popular gaming magazine in Hungary (GameStar).

Results: The main effect of psychiatric symptoms was moderate to large in all models, whereas the moderation effects were significant (P<.001) for 4 out of 8 coping strategies (ie, self-blame/self-distraction, denial, emotional/social support, and active coping). However, the explained variance of the models only increased negligibly (from 0.3% to 0.5%) owing to the moderation effect. The direction of the moderations was as expected (ie, putatively maladaptive strategies were associated with more GD symptoms when the level of psychiatric symptoms was high, while putatively adaptive strategies were associated with less). Furthermore, no considerable moderation effect of the player type (recreational vs professional players) was found on the association between psychiatric symptoms and GD (β=.04; P=.02; 0.1% change in the explained variance).

Conclusions: Future studies should be designed to better understand coping-related mechanisms in the context of video gaming and GD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/21115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8077919PMC
March 2021

Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) across countries: Measurement invariance issues.

Nurs Open 2021 Mar 21. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Department of Nursing, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.

Aim: The threats of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have caused fears worldwide. The Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) was recently developed to assess the fear of COVID-19. Although many studies found that the FCV-19S is psychometrically sound, it is unclear whether the FCV-19S is invariant across countries. The present study aimed to examine the measurement invariance of the FCV-19S across eleven countries.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: Using data collected from prior research on Bangladesh (N = 8,550), United Kingdom (N = 344), Brazil (N = 1,843), Taiwan (N = 539), Italy (N = 249), New Zealand (N = 317), Iran (N = 717), Cuba (N = 772), Pakistan (N = 937), Japan (N = 1,079) and France (N = 316), comprising a total 15,663 participants, the present study used the multigroup confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Rasch differential item functioning (DIF) to examine the measurement invariance of the FCV-19S across country, gender and age (children aged below 18 years, young to middle-aged adults aged between 18 and 60 years, and older people aged above 60 years).

Results: The unidimensional structure of the FCV-19S was confirmed. Multigroup CFA showed that FCV-19S was partially invariant across country and fully invariant across gender and age. DIF findings were consistent with the findings from multigroup CFA. Many DIF items were displayed for country, few DIF items were displayed for age, and no DIF items were displayed for gender.

Conclusion: Based on the results of the present study, the FCV-19S is a good psychometric instrument to assess fear of COVID-19 during the pandemic period. Moreover, the use of FCV-19S is supported in at least ten countries with satisfactory psychometric properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nop2.855DOI Listing
March 2021

The Mediating Role of Impulsivity and the Moderating Role of Gender Between Fear of Missing Out and Gaming Disorder Among a Sample of Chinese University Students.

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw 2021 Mar 18. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Gannan Medical University, Ganzhou, China.

The role of fear of missing out (FoMO) in addictive behaviors has recently attracted growing attention. In view of negative effects of gaming disorder (GD) among adolescents and emerging adults, research examining the relationship between FoMO and GD is needed, alongside the roles of impulsivity and gender in the relationship between FoMO and GD. This study examined whether impulsivity as a mediator and gender as a moderator impacted on the relationship between FoMO and GD among a sample of Chinese university students. A sample of 1,288 Chinese university students from three universities completed an online survey through the platform. The Chinese Trait-State Fear of Missing Out Scale, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-Brief, and the Chinese Gaming Disorder Scale were used in this study. The model results indicated that impulsivity partially mediated the relationship between FoMO and GD, and that there was a larger effect size between impulsivity and GD among males. High levels of FoMO among individuals may impact on executive functions leading to more impulsivity, and are associated with GD. Gender may moderate the relationship between impulsivity and GD. This study deepens the understanding of the relationship between FoMO and GD, and provides new perspectives for practitioners to incorporate into health prevention programs to help regulate emotion, control impulsivity, and decrease GD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2020.0283DOI Listing
March 2021

Depression and anxiety symptoms associated with internet gaming disorder before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal study.

J Behav Addict 2021 Mar 10. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

1Research Center of Mental Health Education, Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has profoundly impacted aspects of human life globally. Playing videogames has been encouraged by several organizations to help individuals cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictive measures. This longitudinal study was the first to examine gaming in the context of the pandemic and its association with depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Methods: The sample comprised 1,778 children and adolescents (50.7% male) who were part of the Project of School Mental Health in Southwest China. Data were collected at two-time intervals: before the COVID-19 pandemic (October to November 2019 - [T1]) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (April to May 2020 - [T2]). Data were collected on perceived COVID-19 impacts, videogame use, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD), and depressive and anxiety symptoms. Cross-lagged panel models were computed to examine longitudinal relationships.

Results: The results indicated that both videogame use and IGD increased significantly for adolescents at T2. The cross-lagged panel model results suggested that depressive and anxiety symptoms at T1 positively predicted IGD and videogame use at T2 (especially for boys), but not inversely. Perceived COVID-19 impacts mediated the relationship between depressive and anxiety symptoms at T1 and IGD at T2.

Conclusion: Children and adolescents both increased videogame use at T2, but only adolescents significantly increased IGD severity at T2. The findings supported the compensatory hypothesis, and are consistent with the Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution model as individual responses to COVID-19 may function as a mediator between personal predisposing variables and IGD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/2006.2021.00016DOI Listing
March 2021

DSM-5 pathological personality domains as vulnerability factors in predicting COVID-19-related anxiety symptoms.

J Addict Dis 2021 Mar 10:1-14. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Department of Psychology, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, individuals worldwide have shown different anxiety-related reactions. Several vulnerability factors may play a role in individuals' psychological reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such factors include pathological personality traits which have been shown to contribute to the development of anxiety-related conditions. Consequently, the present study investigated the relationships between DSM-5 pathological personality domains and COVID-19-related anxiety symptoms. Using an online data portal, the relationships between DSM-5 pathological personality domains and COVID-19-related anxiety symptoms among a mixed university student and community sample (N = 612) were studied. The results showed that there was a positive and significant relationship between all DSM-5 pathological personality domains and COVID-19-related anxiety. The results of multiple linear regression analysis showed that DSM-5 pathological personality domains explained 21% of COVID-19-related anxiety variance. Based on standardized coefficients, the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) negative affect domain had the main role in COVID-19-related anxiety. The findings suggest that pathological personality domains can be predictors in the symptoms of anxiety in a viral outbreak. The novel findings add to the literature on individual differences in domains of personality in response to pandemic situations. Implications for future clinical applications and research investigations are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10550887.2021.1889752DOI Listing
March 2021

Internet addiction and maladaptive schemas: The potential role of disconnection/rejection and impaired autonomy/performance.

Clin Psychol Psychother 2021 Mar 9. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.

Introduction And Objectives: Problematic internet use (PIU) has become public health concern, particularly among adolescents and emerging adults. There is growing interest concerning the potential impacts of early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) on PIU and its most severe manifestation internet addiction (IA). However, a deeper understanding of these relationships is needed regarding of effects of schemas on IA. The purpose of the present study was to explore the role of EMSs among adults.

Methods: The sample comprised 714 Iranian participants who completed a self-report survey comprising sociodemographic variables, the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), and the Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form (YSQ-SF). The data were analysed using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM).

Results: Findings indicated that there was a positive and significant relationship between EMS domains and IA. The results confirmed that disconnection/rejection schema domains and impaired autonomy/performance schema domains were significantly related with IA. The results of the analysis of convergent validity and discriminant validity were acceptable among the nine reflective constructs.

Conclusion: Findings of the present study indicated that existence of underlying EMSs may be a vulnerability factor for developing IA and adds to the growing body of cyberpsychology literature that has examined the relationships between the EMSs and IA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2581DOI Listing
March 2021

Understanding Online Voluntary Self-Exclusion in Gambling: An Empirical Study Using Account-Based Behavioral Tracking Data.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 19;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK.

Online gambling has continued to grow alongside new ways to analyze data using behavioral tracking as a way to enhance consumer protection. A number of studies have analyzed consumers that have used voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) as a proxy measure for problem gambling. However, some scholars have argued that this is a poor proxy for problem gambling. Therefore, the present study examined this issue by analyzing customers (from the gambling operator ) that have engaged in VSE. The participants comprised of costumers that chose to use the six-month VSE option (n = 7732), and customers that chose to close their account due to a specific self-reported gambling addiction (n = 141). Almost one-fifth of the customers that used six-month VSE only had gambling activity for less than 24 h (19.15%). Moreover, half of the customers had less than seven days of account registration prior to six-month VSE (50.39%). Customers who use VSE are too different to be treated as a homogenous group and therefore VSE is not a reliable proxy measure for problem gambling. The findings of this research are beneficial for operators, researchers, and policymakers because it provides insight into gambling behavior by analyzing real player behavior using tracking technologies, which is objective and unbiased.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922787PMC
February 2021

Fear of COVID-19 and Depression: A Comparative Study Among the General Population and Healthcare Professionals During COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis in Bangladesh.

Int J Ment Health Addict 2021 Feb 19:1-17. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic affects individuals' mental health that can result in fear of getting COVID-19 infection and depression. As there is no prior study available, we evaluated these mental health outcomes and associated factors among the general population and healthcare professionals (HCPs) in Bangladesh. This nationwide cross-sectional study comprised 3388 individuals including 834 HCPs. The measures included socio-demographics, healthcare, and patient-care related information, the Bangla Patient Health Questionnaire, and the Bangla Fear of COVID-19 Scale. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to identify risk factors. Just over one-quarter of the participants were depressed, and was significantly associated with COVID-19 fear. Regression analyses showed that, both in general population and HCPs, depression and fear of COVID-19 were strongly predicted by being female; however, depression was inversely associated with being married. Particularly, among the HCPs, being restless while examining a patient with flu-like symptoms and while examining a patient returning from abroad was found to be significant predictor for both depression and fear of COVID-19. HCPs who were using single protective equipment for a week had greater depression and those who felt insecure due to the pandemic had a high level of COVID-19 fear. The findings identified major psychological impacts among the participants, suggesting the urgent need to promote mental wellbeing in both general population and medical professionals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00477-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894229PMC
February 2021

The relationship between fear of COVID-19 and mental health problems: A meta-analysis.

Death Stud 2021 Feb 27:1-9. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused physical and mental health problems among individuals around the world. Recent studies have reported various mental health problems among both health-care workers and the general population. In this meta-analysis, evidence is provided concerning the relationships between the Fear of COVID-19 Scale. The fear of COVID-19 scale: Development and initial validation. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction] - the most widely used, translated, and validated scale - and mental health problems including, anxiety, stress, depression, distress, post-traumatic stress, and sleep problems among the general population. We searched for relevant studies on and databases and conducted a meta-analysis with selected studies in accordance with the inclusion criteria. A total of 33 studies met the inclusion criteria. The results demonstrated that fear of COVID-19 was strongly related to anxiety ( = 0.55,  = 19,578), traumatic stress ( = 0.54,  = 8,752), distress ( = 0.53,  = 11,785) as well as being moderately related to stress ( = 0.47,  = 4,340) and depression ( = 0.38,  = 23,835). The correlation with insomnia ( = 0.27,  = 2,114) was modest. These results demonstrate that fear of COVID-19 is associated a wide range of mental health problems among the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2021.1889097DOI Listing
February 2021

Can South Asian Countries Cope with the Mental Health Crisis Associated with COVID-19?

Int J Ment Health Addict 2021 Feb 16:1-10. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FQ UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11469-021-00491-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7886190PMC
February 2021

Psychometric properties of Postpartum Partner Support Scale-Persian version.

Nurs Open 2021 Feb 19. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran.

Aim: The aim of the present study was to translate the Postpartum Partner Support Scale (PPSS) into Persian and evaluate its psychometric properties among postpartum women.

Design: A total of 248 women aged 18-39 years participated in this psychometric study. The PPSS was translated into Persian using a forward-backward method. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Rasch model analysis were used to assess the psychometric properties of the PPSS. In addition, the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) was completed simultaneously to assess the construct validity. Internal consistency of the questionnaire was assessed by calculating the Cronbach's alpha coefficient and corrected item-total correlation.

Results: The unidimensionality of the PPSS was supported in both CFA and Rasch analysis. The PPSS had a significant negative association with EPDS (r = -0.39 p < .001). The scale had excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.94) and the correlation between items and total score was satisfactory.

Conclusion: The Persian version of PPSS with 20 items is a valid and reliable scale to assess postpartum support.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nop2.806DOI Listing
February 2021

Problematic internet-related behaviors mediate the associations between levels of internet engagement and distress among schoolchildren during COVID-19 lockdown: A longitudinal structural equation modeling study.

J Behav Addict 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

3Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong.

Background And Aims: Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), policies based on the nature of "spatial distancing" have been implemented and have resulted in school suspensions and online learning among schoolchildren. In order to examine the impact of such policies on schoolchildren, the aims of the present study were to (i) assess changes in the level of engagement in three internet-related activities (smartphone use, social media use, and gaming) before and during the COVID-19 outbreak, including prolonged and problematic engagement in these activities; (ii) investigate the differences of psychological distress before and after COVID-19 outbreak; and (iii) to use structural equation modeling to investigate the mediating roles of problematic internet-related behaviors in the causal relationships of psychological distress and time spent on internet-related activities.

Methods: Self-report measures were used to assess internet-related activities and psychological distress. Time spent on internet-related activities, problematic use of internet-related activities, and psychological distress were collected from primary school students (N = 535; 265 boys; M age = 10.32 years [SD = 0.84]). The data were first collected before the COVID-19 outbreak (i.e., early November 2019) and then collected again during the school suspension due to COVID-19 outbreak (i.e., end of March 2020) for comparisons of changes.

Results: Schoolchildren spent significantly more time on the smartphone (increased 1.02 h daily; P < 0.001) and social media (increased 0.73 h daily; P < 0.001) but not gaming (increased 0.14 h daily; P = 0.07) during the school suspension compared to the baseline. Schoolchildren who increased by 15 or 30 min daily on internet-related activities showed an increased level of psychological distress. The association between problematic use of social media and psychological distress was stronger during the school suspension (β = 0.584) than at the baseline (β = 0.451; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Increased problematic use of internet-related activities among schoolchildren was associated with greater psychological distress. Parents should therefore monitor internet-related activities and psychological distress of their children to support their mental health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/2006.2021.00006DOI Listing
February 2021

The Effects of Responsible Gambling Pop-Up Messages on Gambling Behaviors and Cognitions: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Front Psychiatry 2020 25;11:601800. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.

Pop-up messages utilized by gambling operators are normally presented to gamblers during gambling sessions in order to prevent excessive gambling and/or to help in the appraisal of maladaptive gambling cognitions. However, the effect of such messages on gambling behavior and gambling cognitions has not previously been synthesized quantitatively. Consequently, a meta-analysis estimating the efficacy of pop-up messages on gambling behavior and cognitions was conducted. A systematic literature search with no time constraints was performed on Web of Science, PsychInfo, Medline, PsychNET, and the Cochrane Library. Search terms included "gambling," "pop-up," "reminder," "warning message," and "dynamic message." Studies based on randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental designs and pre-post studies reporting both pre- and post-pop-up data were included. Two authors independently extracted data using pre-defined fields including quality assessment. A total of 18 studies were included and data were synthesized using a random effects model estimating Hedges' . The effects of pop-ups were = 0.413 for cognitive measures (95% CI = 0.115-0.707) and = 0.505 for behavioral measures (95% CI = 0.256-0.746). For both outcomes there was significant between-study heterogeneity which could not be explained by setting (laboratory vs. naturalistic) or sample (gambler vs. non-gamblers). It is concluded that pop-up messages provide moderate effects on gambling behavior and cognitions in the short-term and that such messages play an important role in the gambling operators' portfolio of responsible gambling tools.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.601800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7868407PMC
January 2021

Gambling Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Online Casino Gamblers: An Empirical Study Using Behavioral Tracking Data.

Int J Ment Health Addict 2021 Feb 2:1-11. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FQ UK.

Gambling, like many other leisure activities, has been greatly affected by the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The present study investigated the behavior of a sample of online casino gamblers before and after the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in March 2020. The authors were given access to behavioral tracking data of a representative sample of 133,286 online casino gamblers by a large European online gambling operator with several online casino Swedish licenses. Online casino gambling activity utilizing daily cross-sectional data was examined over a 5-month period from January 1 to May 31 (2020). Results indicated that the (i) number of active online casino gamblers significantly increased over time, (ii) mean average amount of money bet by online casino gamblers daily significantly decreased over time, (iii) mean average daily bet by online casino gamblers at both the 90th and 99th percentiles significantly decreased over time, and (iv) mean average daily bet by online casino gamblers at the 10th and 25th percentiles significantly increased over time. The analysis also indicated that the number of high-risk players significantly decreased during the 5-month study period. While many different groups have claimed that gambling and problem gambling would increase during the pandemic due to more time being spent at home, evidence from the present study suggests that this is not the case because gambling intensity decreased, at least among Swedish gamblers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00462-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7852466PMC
February 2021

Gambling Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Online Casino Gamblers: An Empirical Study Using Behavioral Tracking Data.

Int J Ment Health Addict 2021 Feb 2:1-11. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FQ UK.

Gambling, like many other leisure activities, has been greatly affected by the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The present study investigated the behavior of a sample of online casino gamblers before and after the COVID-19 pandemic was announced in March 2020. The authors were given access to behavioral tracking data of a representative sample of 133,286 online casino gamblers by a large European online gambling operator with several online casino Swedish licenses. Online casino gambling activity utilizing daily cross-sectional data was examined over a 5-month period from January 1 to May 31 (2020). Results indicated that the (i) number of active online casino gamblers significantly increased over time, (ii) mean average amount of money bet by online casino gamblers daily significantly decreased over time, (iii) mean average daily bet by online casino gamblers at both the 90th and 99th percentiles significantly decreased over time, and (iv) mean average daily bet by online casino gamblers at the 10th and 25th percentiles significantly increased over time. The analysis also indicated that the number of high-risk players significantly decreased during the 5-month study period. While many different groups have claimed that gambling and problem gambling would increase during the pandemic due to more time being spent at home, evidence from the present study suggests that this is not the case because gambling intensity decreased, at least among Swedish gamblers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11469-020-00462-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7852466PMC
February 2021

Study addiction and 'dark' personality traits: a cross-sectional survey study among emerging adults.

J Addict Dis 2021 Jan 26:1-14. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.

Research has shown that personality traits can have an important role in the development and maintenance of behavioral addictions. However, the relationship between dark personality traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, sadism, spitefulness) and 'study addiction' has yet to be investigated. The purpose of the present study was to examine the associations of dark traits with study addiction among the total sample, males, and females separately, while adjusting for the Big Five personality traits (i.e., extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness). A total of 716 university students completed an online survey, including questions assessing the aforementioned variables. Hierarchical regression analysis suggested that being female, neuroticism, conscientiousness, Machiavellianism, and sadism were positively associated with study addiction. However, dark personality traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, sadism) were significantly related to study addiction only in males but not in females. Findings of this preliminary study suggest that dark personality traits may be better at explaining male addictive studying patterns and that gender should be taken into account when investigating the role of personality in the development of study addiction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10550887.2021.1872469DOI Listing
January 2021

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Relationship between Body Dissatisfaction and Morbid Exercise Behaviour.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 01 12;18(2). Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK.

Background: The present study aimed to quantify the relationship between body dissatisfaction and morbid exercise behaviour (MEB).

Methods: The electronic databases MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, SciELO, and Dissertations & Theses Global were searched from inception to September 2020. Pooled effect sizes corrected for sampling errors () were computed using a bare-bones meta-analysis. The robustness of the results was examined by influence analyses. The presence of moderators was examined by inspection of the variance in attributable to sampling errors and 80% credibility intervals, followed by subgroup analysis and univariable/multivariable meta-regressions. Publication bias was examined by visual inspection of funnel plot symmetry, cumulative meta-analysis, and Egger's test.

Results: A total of 41 effect sizes from 33 studies ( = 8747) were retrieved. Results showed a significant and near to moderate effect size ( = 0.267, 95% CI = 0.226 to 0.307), and this did not differ by gender, BMI, age, percentage of Whites, study quality, or MEB measure. Conversely, effect sizes were found to be stronger in published and more recently conducted studies.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that body dissatisfaction is one of the likely causes underlying MEB. This suggests the need for further longitudinal research aimed at confirming the potential causal nature of this relationship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827926PMC
January 2021

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Relationship between Body Dissatisfaction and Morbid Exercise Behaviour.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 01 12;18(2). Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK.

Background: The present study aimed to quantify the relationship between body dissatisfaction and morbid exercise behaviour (MEB).

Methods: The electronic databases MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, SciELO, and Dissertations & Theses Global were searched from inception to September 2020. Pooled effect sizes corrected for sampling errors () were computed using a bare-bones meta-analysis. The robustness of the results was examined by influence analyses. The presence of moderators was examined by inspection of the variance in attributable to sampling errors and 80% credibility intervals, followed by subgroup analysis and univariable/multivariable meta-regressions. Publication bias was examined by visual inspection of funnel plot symmetry, cumulative meta-analysis, and Egger's test.

Results: A total of 41 effect sizes from 33 studies ( = 8747) were retrieved. Results showed a significant and near to moderate effect size ( = 0.267, 95% CI = 0.226 to 0.307), and this did not differ by gender, BMI, age, percentage of Whites, study quality, or MEB measure. Conversely, effect sizes were found to be stronger in published and more recently conducted studies.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that body dissatisfaction is one of the likely causes underlying MEB. This suggests the need for further longitudinal research aimed at confirming the potential causal nature of this relationship.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827926PMC
January 2021