Is there an addiction to video games?
Can video games or computer games actually become serious addictions? A recent study suggests this, but the majority of gamers do not appear to be at risk of developing an addiction to video games.
The current study by the research group led by Professor Sarah Coyne from Brigham Young University found that people can very well develop a real addiction to video games. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal “Developmental Psychology“Published.
Are video games just entertainment?
For most adolescents, playing video games is just a pleasant and often even social form of entertainment. While video games are a fun pastime, there is growing concern in society that spending too much time on video games can negatively impact development and lead to addiction.
90 percent of people only play for fun
The six-year study (the longest study to date on video game addiction) found that around 90 percent of gamblers do not play in a way that is harmful to them or leads to long-term negative effects. However, there is also a minority of people who become addicted to video games. As a result, mental, social, and behavioral problems can arise.
What was the aim of the investigation?
“The aim of the study was to examine the long-term effects of a particular relationship with video games and to analyze the effects that relationship has on a person over time,” says study author Professor Sarah Coyne from Brigham Young University in one Press release the University.
Participants had to answer questionnaires
In order to measure the predictors and results of video game addiction, the research group examined 385 adolescents during the transition to adulthood. Each individual participant completed several questionnaires once a year for a period of six years. With the help of these questionnaires depression, anxiety, Aggression, delinquency, empathy, prosocial behavior, shyness, sensory reactivity, financial stress and problematic cell phone use.
When can gaming be called addiction?
Pathological video game is characterized by excessive time spent playing video games, difficulty in detaching from the games and disruption of healthy (inter) human behavior due to playing.
About ten percent of people playing are addicted
About ten percent of the gaming people fall into the category of pathological video games. Compared to the non-pathological group, these participants showed higher levels of depression, aggression, shyness, problematic cell phone use and anxiety in adulthood. These effects could be observed, although the groups had performed equally well in all of these variables at the original point in time. This suggests that video games could have played an important role in these negative results, the researchers explain.
Risk factors for video game addiction
Two main risk factors for video game addiction have been identified: being male and having a low level of prosocial behavior. A higher degree of prosocial behavior or voluntary engagement that should benefit another person tends to be a protective factor against the symptoms of addiction, the researchers report.
How do long-term video games affect people?
In addition to the risk factors, three different courses of video game consumption were also observed. 72 percent of adolescents had relatively few addiction symptoms in the six years of data collection. Another 18 percent of adolescents started with moderate symptoms that did not change over time, only 10 percent of adolescents showed increasingly pathological gaming symptoms in the course of the study.
Conclusion of the study:
The results of the study suggest that about 90 percent of gamblers do not play in a way that is dysfunctional or harmful to an individual’s life. However, there is a significant minority of people who are really addicted to video games and who experience addiction symptoms over time. (as)
- Is video game addiction real ?, Brigham Young University (Published May 12, 2020), Brigham Young University
- Coyne, Sarah M., Stockdale, Laura A., Warburton, Wayne, Gentile, Douglas A., Yang, Chongming, Merrill, Brett M .: Pathological video game symptoms from adolescence to emerging adulthood: A 6-year longitudinal study of trajectories , predictors, and outcomes., in Developmental Psychology (Published 2020), Developmental Psychology
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.