85% of teens play video games - 1 in 10 have problematic use - TechAddiction

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Study: 85% of teens play video games - 1 in 10 have problematic use

By Dr. Brent Conrad

A study appearing in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction reveals that eighty-five percent of teenagers play video games and that close to 10% of these teens may have habits indicative of problem gaming (sometimes referred to as video game addiction).

Researchers in Ontario, Canada surveyed 2,800 students in grades 7 to 12 using the Problem Video Game Playing Scale (PVP) to anonymously assess computer gaming habits among adolescents.

Frequency of play was assessed via the question: “In the last 12 months how often did you play video games (either on a computer or TV, or at an arcade)?”

Potentially problematic gaming was assessed with questions from PVP including:

  • When you were not playing video games did you keep taking about them (such as planning your next game, remembering past games)?

  • Did you spend an increasing amount of time playing video games?

  • Did you try to control, cut back, or stop playing video games, or play for longer than you plan to?

  • When you lost a game or did not get the results you wanted, did you play again to achieve your target?

  • Did you get restless or irritated when you could not play video games?

  • Did you play video games more often he felt that (sad, angry or nervous) or had problems?

  • Did you skip school and work, or lie or steal, or argue with someone so that you could play video games?

  • Did you ignore homework, or go to bed late, or spend less time with family and friends because of your video game playing?

Of those surveyed, only 14% reported that they had not played video games in the previous year. 30% reported playing three times per month or less; 9% stated that they played once per week; and 18% reported that they played video games on a daily basis. Of those who reported daily video game play, males were far more likely to fall into this category (30% of males compared to 5% of females).

The researchers defined problematic video game playing as those teens who endorsed five of the eight questions about from the PVP. Using this definition, approximately 9% were classified as having problematic video game habits. The most commonly reported endorsed item among problematic players was the desire to play again after losing or not getting the desired outcome while playing.

Additionally, those in the problematic gamers category were more likely to report getting worse grades in school, doing less than one hour of homework every week, and not getting along with their parents.

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