Behavioral addictions are now recognized as a psychiatric condition. With this recognition came increased research interest, specifically within the video gaming and gambling fields, into the etiology and symptomology of these behavioral addictions. Emotion regulation (ER) has significant implications for mental health, with research highlighting the link between ER and the development of psychopathology. However, the relationship between ER and behavioral addictions remains relatively unknown. Objectives: This review investigated the recent literature on this relationship. Methods: Out of an initial sample of 2471 studies, 20 were eligible for inclusion. Data regarding outcome measures, sampling methods, results, and effect sizes of relationships were extracted and critically evaluated. Results: Results indicated 90% of studies found lower ER to be associated with reports of greater video gaming or gambling disorder symptomology, with 13 studies (65%) reporting medium to large effect sizes. Conclusion: The findings provide an in-depth analysis of the relationship between ER and behavioral addictions and highlights the key role ER plays in these addictive behaviors. This review provides novel insights into the potential prevention and intervention practices for behavioral addictions as well as recommendations for future directions.
- Emotion Regulation
- Video Gaming