University of Hertfordshire


  • Matthias Brand
  • Hans Jürgen Rumpf
  • Zsolt Demetrovics
  • Astrid Muller
  • Rudolf Stark
  • Daniel L King
  • Anna E Goudriaan
  • Karl Mann
  • Patrick Trotzke
  • Naomi Fineberg
  • Samuel R Chamberlain
  • Shane Kraus
  • Elisa Wegmann
  • Joël Billieux
  • Marc Potenza
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Early online date30 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jun 2020


Background: Gambling and gaming disorders have been included as “disorders due to addictive behaviors” in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Other problematic behaviors may be considered as “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors (6C5Y).” Methods: Narrative review, experts’ opinions. Results: We suggest the following meta-level criteria for considering potential addictive behaviors as fulfilling the category of “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors”:1. Clinical relevance: Empirical evidence from multiple scientific studies demonstrates that the specific potential addictive behavior is clinically relevant and individuals experience negative consequences and functional impairments in daily life due to the problematic and potentially addictive behavior.2. Theoretical embedding: Current theories and theoretical models belonging to the field of research on addictive behaviors describe and explain most appropriately the candidate phenomenon of a potential addictive behavior.3. Empirical evidence: Data based on self-reports, clinical interviews, surveys, behavioral experiments, and, if available, biological investigations (neural, physiological, genetic) suggest that psychological (and neurobiological) mechanisms involved in other addictive behaviors are also valid for the candidate phenomenon.Varying degrees of support for problematic forms of pornography use, buying and shopping, and use of social networks are available.These conditions may fit the category of “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors”. Conclusion: It is important not to overpathologize everyday-life behavior while concurrently not trivializing conditions that are of clinical importance and that deserve public health considerations. The proposed meta-level-criteria mayhelp guide both research efforts and clinical practice.


© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (, 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.

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