Date Approved

6-12-2013

Date Posted

4-7-2014

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Natalie Dove, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Norman Gordon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Jefferson, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Howard Lerner, Ph.D.

Abstract

Problematic video game play is becoming a more frequent clinical presentation, and currently there is no standard way of measuring this phenomenon. This study operationalized this construct in a way that accurately reflects the existing literature and attempted to construct a valid measure based on this information. This new assessment instrument was evaluated by analyzing its factor structure on both 375 college-age participants and 314 online participants who endorsed being a regular video game player.

This area of research is still in its infancy, especially in regard to comorbid psychopathology. Consequently, this study surveyed participants’ subjective experience of depression and anxiety in conjunction with problematic video game-playing behaviors. In addition to existing theoretical findings, the study explored the relationship between problematic patterns of video game-playing behaviors and absorption in addition to participants’ general quality of life.

Results from this study supported that the Problematic Video Game Playing – Revised (PVGP-R) scale is a psychometrically sound and reliable method for measuring problematic video game play behaviors and shows much promise for future research. The results suggested that problematic video game play was correlated with absorption, depression, anxiety, and stress in men. Conversely, problematic video game play was only correlated with stress and absorption and was correlated weakly and in only one sample with depression and anxiety for women. The findings also suggested that quality of life was unrelated to problematic video game use regardless of gender in both samples. Finally, future directions for research were identified.

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