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Abstract

Background and aims

While the relationships between video game use and negative consequences are debated, the relationships between video game addiction and negative consequences are fairly well established. However, previous studies suffer from methodological weaknesses that may have caused biased results. There is need for further investigation that benefits from the use of methods that avoid omitted variable bias.

Methods

Two wave panel data was used from two surveys of 1,928 Norwegian adolescents aged 13 to 17 years. The surveys included measures of video game use, video game addiction, depression, heavy episodic drinking, academic achievement, and conduct problems. The data was analyzed using first-differencing, a regression method that is unbiased by time invariant individual factors.

Results

Video game addiction was related to depression, lower academic achievement, and conduct problems, but time spent on video games was not related to any of the studied negative outcomes.

Discussion

The findings were in line with a growing number of studies that have failed to find relationships between time spent on video games and negative outcomes. The current study is also consistent with previous studies in that video game addiction was related to other negative outcomes, but it made the added contribution that the relationships are unbiased by time invariant individual effects. However, future research should aim at establishing the temporal order of the supposed causal effects.

Conclusions

Spending time playing video games does not involve negative consequences, but adolescents who experience problems related to video games are likely to also experience problems in other facets of life.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Rune A. Mentzoni
,
Jon Christian Laberg
,
Geir Scott Brunborg
,
Helge Molde
, and
Ståle Pallesen

Abstract

Background and aims

Electronic gaming machines (EGM) may be a particularly addictive form of gambling, and gambling speed is believed to contribute to the addictive potential of such machines. The aim of the current study was to generate more knowledge concerning speed as a structural characteristic in gambling, by comparing the effects of three different bet-to-outcome intervals (BOI) on gamblers bet-sizes, game evaluations and illusion of control during gambling on a computer simulated slot machine. Furthermore, we investigated whether problem gambling moderates effects of BOI on gambling behavior and cognitions.

Methods

62 participants played a computerized slot machine with either fast (400 ms), medium (1700 ms) or slow (3000 ms) BOI. SOGS-R was used to measure pre-existing gambling problems. Mean bet size, game evaluations and illusion of control comprised the dependent variables.

Results

Gambling speed had no overall effect on either mean bet size, game evaluations or illusion of control, but in the 400 ms condition, at-risk gamblers (SOGS-R score > 0) employed higher bet sizes compared to no-risk (SOGS-R score = 0) gamblers.

Conclusions

The findings corroborate and elaborate on previous studies and indicate that restrictions on gambling speed may serve as a harm reducing effort for at-risk gamblers.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Rune A. Mentzoni
,
Jon Christian Laberg
,
Geir Scott Brunborg
,
Helge Molde
, and
Ståle Pallesen

Abstract

Background and aims

A long existing notion is that the presence of music might affect gambling behavior. In spite of this, little empirical research on the subject exists. The main aim of the present study was to corroborate and elaborate on the existing findings concerning gambling and music through a laboratory based experiment.

Methods

A nonclinical sample of 101 undergraduate students (72 females, 29 males) played a computerized gambling task in which either a high-tempo or a low-tempo musical soundtrack was present. Persistence in gambling, reaction time and evaluation of the game comprised the outcome variables.

Results

Low-tempo music was associated with increased gambling persistence in terms of overall number of bets placed, whereas high-tempo music was associated with intensified gambling in terms of faster reaction time per placed bet. Type of soundtrack was not associated with game evaluation.

Discussion

Our findings add to the existing knowledge by showing that both low-tempo and high-tempo music can be associated with more risky gambling behavior, the former by increasing gambling persistence and the latter by reducing reaction time for bets placed.

Conclusions

In sum, the existing studies provide compelling evidence that music can affect various aspects of gambling behavior. These findings may have clinical implications by educating gamblers on the effects of structural mechanisms in gambling on behavior.

Open access