The aim of this study was to identify problematic gaming behavior among Finnish adolescents and young adults, and evaluate its connection to a variety of psychological, social, and physical health symptoms.
This cross-sectional study was conducted with a random sample of 293 respondents aged from 13 to 24 years. Participants completed an online survey. Problematic gaming behavior was measured with the Game Addiction Scale (GAS). Self-reports covered health measures such as psychological health (psychopathological symptoms, satisfaction with life), social health (preferences for social interaction), and physical health (general health, Body Mass Index [BMI], body discomfort, physical activity).
Problematic gaming behavior was found to relate to psychological and health problems, namely fatigue, sleep interference, depression and anxiety symptoms. Multiple linear regression indicated that the amount of weekly gaming, depression and a preference for online social interaction predicted increased problematic gaming symptoms.
This research emphasized that problematic gaming behavior had a strong negative correlation to a variety of subjective health outcomes.
Gaming applications have become one of the main entertainment features on smartphones, and this could be potentially problematic in terms of dangerous, prohibited, and dependent use among a minority of individuals. A cross-national study was conducted in Belgium and Finland. The aim was to examine the relationship between gaming on smartphones and self-perceived problematic smartphone use via an online survey to ascertain potential predictors.
The Short Version of the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPUQ-SV) was administered to a sample comprising 899 participants (30% male; age range: 18–67 years).
Good validity and adequate reliability were confirmed regarding the PMPUQ-SV, especially the dependence subscale, but low prevalence rates were reported in both countries using the scale. Regression analysis showed that downloading, using Facebook, and being stressed contributed to problematic smartphone use. Anxiety emerged as predictor for dependence. Mobile games were used by one-third of the respective populations, but their use did not predict problematic smartphone use. Very few cross-cultural differences were found in relation to gaming through smartphones.
Findings suggest mobile gaming does not appear to be problematic in Belgium and Finland.
Despite many positive benefits, mobile phone use can be associated with harmful and detrimental behaviors. The aim of this study was twofold: to examine (a) cross-cultural patterns of perceived dependence on mobile phones in ten European countries, first, grouped in four different regions (North: Finland and UK; South: Spain and Italy; East: Hungary and Poland; West: France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland), and second by country, and (b) how socio-demographics, geographic differences, mobile phone usage patterns, and associated activities predicted this perceived dependence.
A sample of 2,775 young adults (aged 18–29 years) were recruited in different European Universities who participated in an online survey. Measures included socio-demographic variables, patterns of mobile phone use, and the dependence subscale of a short version of the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPUQ; Billieux, Van der Linden, & Rochat, 2008).
The young adults from the Northern and Southern regions reported the heaviest use of mobile phones, whereas perceived dependence was less prevalent in the Eastern region. However, the proportion of highly dependent mobile phone users was more elevated in Belgium, UK, and France. Regression analysis identified several risk factors for increased scores on the PMPUQ dependence subscale, namely using mobile phones daily, being female, engaging in social networking, playing video games, shopping and viewing TV shows through the Internet, chatting and messaging, and using mobile phones for downloading-related activities.
Discussion and conclusions
Self-reported dependence on mobile phone use is influenced by frequency and specific application usage.