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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Olatz Lopez-Fernandez, Niko Männikkö, Maria Kääriäinen, Mark D. Griffiths and Daria J. Kuss

Background and aims

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.

Methods

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).

Results

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.

Conclusion

Findings suggest mobile gaming does not appear to be problematic in Belgium and Finland.

Open access