Authors:Geir Scott Brunborg, Rune Aune Mentzoni, and Lars Roar Frøyland
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Authors:Elfrid Krossbakken, Ståle Pallesen, Helge Molde, Rune Aune Mentzoni, and Turi Reiten Finserås
In their commentary, Kuss, Griffiths, and Pontes (2016) criticize the use of the term “Internet” in the recently proposed diagnosis for Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and its use as one of the included diagnostic criteria. We agree with the exclusion of the term “Internet” in the diagnosis, but have some considerations to the comments regarding the nine criteria for IGD. Specifically, we discuss the meaning, the wording, and the importance of the criteria, as well as the importance of distress or functional impairment in the proposed diagnosis. We also address the possibility of categorizing IGD as a subtype of a general behavioral addiction diagnosis.
Authors:Dominic Sagoe, Rune Aune Mentzoni, Tony Leino, Helge Molde, Sondre Haga, Mikjel Fredericson Gjernes, Daniel Hanss, and Ståle Pallesen
Background and aims
Although alcohol intake and gambling often co-occur in related venues, there is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of alcohol expectancy and intake on gambling behavior. We therefore conducted an experimental investigation of the effects of alcohol expectancy and intake on slot machine gambling behavior.
Participants were 184 (females = 94) individuals [age range: 18–40 (mean = 21.9) years] randomized to four independent conditions differing in information/expectancy about beverage (told they received either alcohol or placebo) and beverage intake [actually ingesting low (target blood alcohol concentration [BAC] < 0.40 mg/L) vs. moderate (target BAC > 0.40 mg/L; ≈0.80 mg/L) amounts of alcohol]. All participants completed self-report questionnaires assessing demographic variables, subjective intoxication, alcohol effects (stimulant and sedative), and gambling factors (behavior and problems, evaluation, and beliefs). Participants also gambled on a simulated slot machine.
A significant main effect of beverage intake on subjective intoxication and alcohol effects was detected as expected. No significant main or interaction effects were detected for number of gambling sessions, bet size and variation, remaining credits at termination, reaction time, and game evaluation.
Alcohol expectancy and intake do not affect gambling persistence, dissipation of funds, reaction time, or gambling enjoyment.
Authors:Ståle Pallesen, Daniel Hanss, Helge Molde, Mark D. Griffiths, and Rune Aune Mentzoni
Background and aims
No previous study has investigated changes in attitudes toward gambling from under legal gambling age to legal gambling age. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate attitudinal changes during this transition and to identify predictors of corresponding attitude change.
In all 1239 adolescents from a national representative sample participated in two survey waves (Wave 1; 17.5 years; Wave 2; 18.5 years).
From Wave 1 to Wave 2 the sample became more acceptant toward gambling. A regression analysis showed that when controlling for attitudes toward gambling at Wave 1 males developed more acceptant attitudes than females. Neuroticism was inversely related to development of acceptant attitudes toward gambling from Wave 1 to Wave 2, whereas approval of gambling by close others at Wave 1 was positively associated with development of more acceptant attitudes. Continuous or increased participation in gambling was related to development of more acceptant attitudes from Wave 1 to Wave 2.
Attitudes toward gambling became more acceptant when reaching legal gambling age. Male gender, approval of gambling by close others and gambling participation predicted development of positive attitudes toward gambling whereas neuroticism was inversely related to development of positive attitudes toward gambling over time.
Authors:Elfrid Krossbakken, Torbjørn Torsheim, Rune Aune Mentzoni, Daniel Luke King, Bjørn Bjorvatn, Ingjerd Meen Lorvik, and Ståle Pallesen
Background and aims
Excessive use of video games among children and adolescents is a growing concern. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a brief parental guide with advices and strategies for regulating video gaming in children.
A random sample of guardians of children between the age of 8–12 years old (N = 5,864) was drawn from the Norwegian Population Registry and equally randomized into an intervention and a control condition. A parental guide based on clinical and research literature was distributed by postal mail to those in the intervention condition. A 4-month follow-up survey comprising questions about problematic video gaming, gaming behavior, sleep activity, and parental video game regulation behavior was administered.
Independent t-tests revealed no significant differences between the two conditions (N = 1,657, response rate 30.1%) on any outcome measure. An ANOVA with planned comparisons showed that respondents who reported that they had read and followed the parental guide reported more video game problems and used more parental mediation strategies than those who did not read and follow the guide.
We found no evidence for the effectiveness of the psychoeducational parental guide on preventing problematic video gaming in children. However, the guide was read and positively assessed by a significant proportion of guardians. Differences between those who studied the guide and those who did not may indicate that parental guides are better aimed at providing important information to those who already have problems rather than as a mean of primary prevention.