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Special Issue "Understanding the Role of Adversity, Trauma and Emotion Dysregulation in Behavioral Addictions"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 398

Special Issue Editors

Department of Philosophy, Communication, and Performing Arts, Roma Tre University, 00154 Rome, Italy
Interests: clinical psychology; emotional regulation; trauma; dissociation; psychoanalysis; behavioral addiction
Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6GX, UK
Interests: clinical psychology; emotional dysregulation; trauma; digital interventions for mental health; e-health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Over the past two decades, the growth rates of addictive behaviors have steadily increased, becoming an issue affecting individuals, groups and societies worldwide. Addictive behaviors are a heterogenous group of impulsive–compulsive behaviors, comprising, among others, problematic online behaviors (i.e., gaming disorder, problematic social media use, cyberbullying, online pornography), gambling, compulsive buying and compulsive sexual behavior. The ‘Internet era’, along with a major access to online worlds via mobile devices, has made less clear the nature and boundaries of these addictive behaviors and some scholars have proposed that the Internet (or a smartphone) simply constitutes the medium through which people engage in their favorite activities (e.g., gaming, shopping, sex) in a more easy and accessible way.  There is increasing evidence that addictive behaviors—online or not—are distinct psychopathological entities, sharing similar underlying dynamics, but also having their own specificities. For example, there is a wealth of research indicating a link between adverse experiences, emotional regulation and development and maintenance of several forms of addictive behaviors, suggesting that the latest are a maladaptive coping strategy frequently used to manage trauma-related dysregulated mental and bodily states. Additionally, recent reviews and meta-analytic findings show a great influence of socio-demographic (e.g., age, gender), cultural–geographic and individual (e.g., personality) issues, indicating the possibility of different developmental pathways. 

Therefore, there is a need to progress our understanding of these disorders, both to support individuals and their families and to shape support pathways and public policy that can cater for the complex prevention and intervention needs associated with these disorders. 

This Special Issue in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) will focus on the topic of addictive behaviors and their links with adverse experiences, trauma and/or emotional dysregulation. This Issue is open to submissions on different types of addictive behaviors and we will accept manuscripts from different disciplines, as long as they address the core topics of the Issue.

New research papers, reviews, meta-analyses and expert opinions are welcome. Here are some examples of topics that could be addressed in this Special Issue: 

  • The links between adverse experiences, distress and addictive behaviors
  • The influence of trauma in the onset and maintenance of addictive behaviors
  • The bidirectional link between emotional dysregulation and addictive behaviors
  • Neurobiological, psychological and interpersonal correlates of addictive behaviors
  • Prevention and intervention strategies to tackle addictive behaviors.

Dr. Fanny Guglielmucci
Dr. Daniela Di Basilio
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • addictive behaviors
  • behavioral addiction
  • emotional dysregulation
  • alexithymia
  • trauma
  • adversity and distress
  • gaming disorder
  • gambling disorder
  • health
  • body image and exercise addiction
  • shopping addiction
  • hypersexuality
  • sex addiction

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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