The relation of video games and social problems and the role of sex, inattention and hyperactivity problems.
Neut, Damian van der
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Background and Aims. Gaming has become increasingly popular among youth, with a small portion of them losing control of their behavior, resulting in negative consequences in their day-to-day lives. The current study aims to investigate risk factors associated with increased intensity and problematic gaming. The role of social problems, inattention and hyperactivity problems (IHPs) and sex is examined in relation to gaming behavior. Method. As part of the Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, a nationally representative sample of Dutch adolescent gamers (N = 6435) was utilized. Results. The findings of a stepwise regression analysis suggest a main effect of social problems on (problematic) gaming. The results show that this relation is stronger for those with IHPs. Additionally, boys appear more likely than girls, develop problematic symptoms when gaming to compensate for their social problems. Conclusion. The current study confirms the association of socially vulnerable youth and (problematic) gaming and the influence of IPHs on this relation. Furthermore, evidence suggests that both boys and girls compensate for social problems by playing games, but particularly boys experience problems as a result. Longitudinal studies are required to gain a better understanding of the causality and the direction of the relation.