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[This article belongs to Volume - 25, Issue - 06]

PREVALENCE OF INTERNET GAMING DISORDER AMONG UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN AL-BURAIMI, OMAN

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) identified Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) as a condition requiring further clinical research before being formally classified as a mental disorder. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders included IGD as a disorder that needs more research among different general populations. Based on this recommendation, the primary objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of IGD among university students in Al-Buraimi, Oman. A cross-sectional research study using quantitative methodology was conducted among university students in Al-Buraimi, Oman. The study included 149 students who were selected using the non-probability convenience sampling technique. To assess the problem, the English version of the IGD-20 test was used. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 26. Qualitative data was expressed as percentages while quantitative data was presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD). The study involved 149 gamers, out of which 34.2% were male and 65.8% were female. The majority of gamers (75.8%) were categorized as low-risk, while 18.8% were considered high-risk and 5.4% were identified as having a gaming disorder, as per the standard IGD-20 scale. Low-Risk Gamers scored an average of 37.21 ± 7.90, while High-Risk Gamers scored an average of 55.89 ± 5.05, and disordered gamers scored an average of 75.50 ± 2.97. Out of the total gamers, 8 were identified as having internet gaming disorder, which included 5 males and 3 females. Among the students who played games, 55% played for less than 7 hours per week, 15.4% played for about 7 to 20 hours per week, 18.1% played for 20 to 40 hours per week, and 11.4% played games for more than 40 hours per week. The study highlights that IGD is a growing concern among internet users, irrespective of their gender, and can pose a potential health challenge.