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Type: Journal article
Title: "Diagnostic inflation" will not resolve taxonomical problems in the study of addictive online behaviours
Author: Starcevic, V.
King, D.L.
Delfabbro, P.H.
Schimmenti, A.
Castro-Calvo, J.
Giardina, A.
Billieux, J.
Citation: Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 2020; 9(4):915-919
Publisher: Akadémiai Kiadó
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 2062-5871
Statement of
Vladan Starcevic, Daniel L. King, Paul H. Delfabbro, Adriano Schimmenti, Jesús Castro-Calvo, Alessandro Giardina and Joël Billieux
Abstract: This article suggests that the type of Internet-enabled device should not be prioritised when conceptualizing diagnostic categories of addictive online behaviours. The diagnostic distinction between "predominantly mobile" and "predominantly non-mobile" forms of Internet use disorders (IUD) is not empirically based, may not be clinically useful and may lead to "diagnostic inflation." Problems with the concepts of smartphone use disorder and IUD on which the proposed distinction is largely based call for their re-examination. Future proposals for the taxonomy of addictive behaviours may not need to be based on online/offline and mobile/non-mobile dichotomies.
Keywords: Internet use disorder
addictive behaviours
problematic Internet use
problematic smartphone use
smartphone use disorder
Rights: © 2020 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (https://, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.
DOI: 10.1556/2006.2020.00083
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Psychology publications

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