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Behavioral Addiction Testing

Until today, the diagnosis and treatment of unwarranted gratification-seeking behaviors have no consistent concept. There is still a need to adequately conceptualize the so-called behavioral addiction testing to find accurate means for therapy. The most common behavioral problems are found in the areas of gambling, sport, shopping, working, internet, computer, and sex.

Pathological Gambling Assessment

Excessive or pathological gambling is the most popular form of behavioral addiction. The most widely known screening instrument in evaluating pathological gambling is the “South Oaks Gambling Screen.” The validity and reliability of this instrument yield a consistent and convergent result relative to other diagnostic instruments.

Gambling Addiction Treatment Programs

gambling-addiction-treatmentLegal gambling can be an enjoyable pastime when people engage in it on a very occasional basis. However, when the trips to Las Vegas or Atlantic City become too frequent, or a gambler racks up debts to cover constant losses, gambling addiction treatment becomes necessary.

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A new instrument to evaluate excessive gambling is the “Canadian Problem Gambling Index.” It is composed of three sections: gambling involvement, problem gambling assessment, and correlates of pathological gambling.

Another screening tool for assessing obsessive gambling is the “Massachusetts Gambling Screen” (MAGS). This diagnostic instrument touches on biological, psychological, social, and other factors affecting pathological gambling. MAGS uses two subscales: the Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test and the DSM-IV criteria. Interestingly, MAGS shows excellent validity and an acceptable consistency.

A diagnostic instrument that is simplistic in approach and less expensive is the “Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale” (Y-BOCS) modified for excessive gambling. Like MAGS, Y-BOCS also exhibits markedly high validity and fairly good psychometric features.

Compulsive Buying Assessment

Among the original instruments used to diagnose excessive buying is the “Compulsive Buying Measurement Scale.” This test dwells upon the four facets of compulsive buying: propensity to spend, the urge to shop or buy, after-purchase remorse, and family situation. Although the evaluation yields a high level of validity and reliability, high scores are noticed to correspond to increased nervousness levels and regular inception of comorbid illnesses.

The “Survey on Compensatory and Addictive Shopping Behavior” is by far the newest screening instrument. A person’s potential inclination for excessive buying is measured through self-assessment.

Another effective and valid instrument is the “Compulsive Buying Scale.” The goal is to gain insight as to certain feelings, stimuli, and characteristics of behavior related to compulsive buying.

Compulsive Exercise Assessment

The first two diagnostic instruments utilized to evaluate exercise addiction were the “Commitment to Running Scale” (CR) and an interview focused on psychoanalysis. The CR displays excellent reliability and consistent validity.

Other diagnostic instruments used to measure compulsive exercise addiction are the following:

  • Exercise Beliefs Questionnaire
  • Exercise Dependence Questionnaire
  • Bodybuilding Dependency Scale
  • Exercise Dependence Interview
  • Commitment to Exercise Scale
  • Exercise Dependence Scale
  • Exercise Addiction Inventory
  • Exercise Orientation Questionnaire

Workaholism Assessment

The following instruments are used to test workaholism: Work Attitude Questionnaire, Workaholism Battery, and Schedule for Non-adaptive Personality Workaholism Scale.
Note, however, that the majority of these instruments are not strongly founded on theory and suggest varying parameters. Overall, the assessment of psychometric features and experimental analysis is lacking.

Computer Addiction Assessment

The current mechanisms employed to evaluate computer addiction are generally based on the screening standards of excessive gambling and addictions related to substance use. These instruments include DSM-III-R, DSM-IV-JV, Problem Video Game Playing Scale, Game Addiction Scale, and Computer-Related Addictive Behavior Inventory.

A wide-ranging diagnostic instrument in evaluating computer addiction in children is the “Questionnaire of Computer Game Behaviour in Children.” This tool uses self-assessment methods to diagnose wanton computer gaming and provides a survey on numerous fields, including family and lifestyle, leisure time and friends, school, and television use.

Internet Addiction Assessment

Due to the ever-increasing popularity of the Internet among the different levels of society, an array of diagnostic instruments was developed to assess internet addiction. Some of the commonly used screening instruments include Online Internet Addiction Questionnaire, Internet-Related Addictive Behavior Inventory, Internet Addiction Scales, Diagnostic Questionnaire, Generalized Problematic Internet Use Scale, Online Cognition Scale, and Sample Questions for a Screening Interview Assessing Problematic Internet Use.

Sexual Addiction Assessment

There are very limited reliable instruments available in assessing sexual addiction. This is because this subject matter was not extensively studied before. The determination of the level of sexual engagement or the rate of dangerous sexual activities is hard to establish because the intricacy of the disorder is usually overlooked. To date, the only existing diagnostic instrument to assess sexual addiction is the “Screening Test of Sexual Addiction.”