Video Game Addiction Test for Parents - Is Your Child Addicted? - TechAddiction

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The Video Game Addiction Test for Parents


By Dr. Brent Conrad
Clinical Psychologist for TechAddiction

Does your child play video games for hours at a time?
                                       
Does he have few interests other than video games?

Are his school grades suffering because of excessive video game playing?

Does he get angry or defensive when you ask him to cut back on the time he spends playing video games?

If so, take our quiz below to see if your child is addicted to video games.


Is Your Child at Risk for Video Game Addiction?


Did you answer "yes" to any of the questions above? You may be worried that your child is addicted to video games. The Video Game Addiction Test for Parents (below) may be helpful in assessing how much of a problem this is, and the book How to Help Children Addicted to Videos Games - A Guide for Parents is now available for instant download.

Although video game addiction is not yet a formal diagnosis (see more on the issue of diagnosing video game addiction), there is little doubt that some people play far too much and that it interferes with healthy functioning in other parts of their lives.

Even though people of all ages can find themselves struggling to break an addiction to video games, children, teens and young adults may be most at risk.

Because children and teens have less experience setting healthy limits for themselves and recognizing when a behavior is becoming problematic, they may be more likely to develop an addiction to a formerly harmless and enjoyable activity such as playing video games.



Every day TechAddiction receives emails from parents concerned about how child video game addiction is interfering with their family's health and happiness. To help parents assess video game addictions in children and whether they should take action on their child's video game habits, TechAddiction is now offering the most comprehensive video game addiction test for parents available on the internet.

The Video Game Addiction Test for Parents is a 30-item multiple choice survey of your child's gaming habits. Questions ask not only about excessive gaming but also about behaviors and factors that may protect against the development of video game addictions in children. As such, it is believed that this questionnaire can offer a more comprehensive assessment of your child's video game addiction status (as compared to the short surveys on other websites asking only about risk factors).

Keep in mind however that no questionnaire can perfectly measure a psychological difficulty (including video game addictions in children). The purpose of this test is to provide parents with an initial sense of whether their child may have a problem with excessive video gaming. If after completing this questionnaire you still believe your child is addicted to video games, it may be helpful to have an in-person consultation with a psychologist or counsellor in your area. Additionally, the workbook How to Help Children Addicted to Video Games - A Guide for Parents is just a two minute download away right here at TechAddiction (plus, get free email support with your download).



If you are concerned about your child's video game habits, I sincerely hope that you find this test helpful for assessing the extent of the problem and for taking steps to help him or her.


Dr. Brent Conrad,
Clinical Psychologist
TechAddiction.ca

  

The Video Game Addiction Test for Parents

1. Choose the best answer for each of the following questions.

2. Add the values in parenthesis for each of your choices (note that some of the scores are negative).

3. Review your results at the end of the questionnaire.


1) The type of game my child primarily plays is:

a) MMORPG / MMO (e.g., World of Warcraft, Lineage, Runescape, Everquest)
(3)

b) Real Time Strategy (e.g., Company of Heroes, Age of Empires, Command & Conquer, Warhammer)
(3)

c) First Person Shooter (e.g., Team Fortress, Halo, Killzone, Unreal Tournament, Call of Duty)
(2)

d) Action (e.g., Grand Theft Auto, Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted, Fallout, Assassin's Creed)
(2)

e) Sports (e.g., Madden NFL, NHL, FIFA Soccer, NBA Street, Fight Night)
(1)

f) Fighter (e.g., Tekken, Street Fighter, Soulcalibur, Mortal Kombat, Dead or Alive, Virtua Fighter)
(1)

g) Music (e.g., Guitar Hero, Rock Band)
(1)

h) Racing (e.g., Forza Motorsport, Need for Speed, Burnout, Gran Turismo)
(1)

i) Puzzle (e.g., Bejeweled, Peggle, World of Goo)
(0)

j) Platformer (e.g., Super Mario, MegaMan, LittleBigPlanet, Ratchet & Clank)
(0)


2) On an average weekday, my child plays video games for:

a) 0 – 1 hour. (0)
b) 2 hours. (1)
c) 3 hours. (2)
d) 4 hours. (3)
e) 5 or more hours. (4)


3) On an average day on the weekend, my child plays video games for:

a) 0 – 1 hour. (0)
b) 2 hours. (1)
c) 3 – 4 hours. (2)
d) 5 – 6 hours. (3)
e) 7 or more hours. (4)


4) I have unsuccessfully tried to reduce the amount of time my child plays video games:

a) Never. (0)
b) One time. (1)
c) Two times. (1)
d) Three times. (2)
e) Four or more times. (3)


5) If I did not set limits on video game time, my child would play:

a) About the same amount as he / she does now. (0)
b) Somewhat more than he / she does now. (1)
c) Significantly more than he / she does now. (2)
d) Far more than he / she does now. (2)


6) My child has access to video games in his / her room:

a) Yes. (2)
b) No. (0)


7) My child stays up late to play video games and as a result, is tired the next morning:

a) Never or rarely. (0)
b) Occasionally. (1)
c) Frequently. (2)
d) Almost always. (3)


8) My child is permitted to play video games before homework is completed:

a) Never or rarely. (-1)
b) Occasionally. (0)
c) Frequently. (1)
d) Almost always. (2)


9) My child would prefer to play video games by him/herself rather than go out with friends:

a) Never or rarely. (0)
b) Occasionally. (1)
c) Frequently. (2)
d) Always. (3)


10) My child seems to have few friends outside of the gaming world:

a) Not at all true. (0)
b) Somewhat true. (1.5)
c) Definitely true. (3)


11) My child’s grades have suffered as a result of playing video games:


a) Not at all true. (0)
b) Somewhat true. (1.5)
c) Definitely true. (3)


12) My child lies about how much time he / she spends playing video games:


a) Not at all true. (0)
b) Probably true. (1)
c) Definitely true. (2)


13) My child is an active member in formal school activities or clubs:

a) No, none at all. (2)
b) Yes, one activity or club. (0)
c) Yes, two activities or clubs. (-1)
d) Yes, three or more activities or clubs. (-2)


14) My child has interests outside the world of video games:

a) No, none at all. (3)
b) Yes, one other significant interest. (1)
c) Yes, two other significant interests. (-1)
d) Yes, three or more significant interests. (-2)


15) My child neglects his / her hygiene because of excessive video game play:

a) Never or rarely. (0)
b) Occasionally. (1)
c) Often. (2)
d) Always. (3)


16) My child spends his/her own money buying video games or subscribing to online gaming services:

a) Never – He / she does not spend money on gaming. (0)
b) Rarely – He / she spends only a small portion of his / her money on games. (0)
c) Often – He / she spends a significant portion of his / her money on games. (1.5)
d) Always – He / she spends every cent of his / her money on video games. (3)


17) My child currently has a part-time job:

a) No, he / she is too young to work, or I prefer that he / she does not work. (0)
b) No, he / she is too involved in other activities (not including video games). (-1)
c) No, I would like him / her to work but he / she refuses to do so. (2)
d) Yes, but he / she has difficulty holding onto jobs. (2)
e) Yes, and he / she successfully holds onto jobs. (-2)


18) Other family members are concerned about how much my child plays video games:

a) No. Other know how much he / she plays but they are not worried about it. (-1)
b) No. Others do not know how much he / she plays. (0)
c) Yes, other family members are concerned about how much my child spends gaming. (2)


19) My child becomes irritable or anxious when he / she cannot access his / her favorite video game (for example, when the computer is not working):

a) Never. (0)
b) Rarely. (0.5)
c) Often. (2)
d) Always. (3)


20) When not playing his / her favorite game, my child spends time reading about it or discussing it online with other players:

a) Never. (0)
b) Rarely. (0)
c) Occasionally. (1)
d) Often. (2)


21) My child becomes very angry or defensive when I ask him / her about his / her gaming habits:

a) Never. (0)
b) Yes, occasionally. (1)
c) Yes, often. (2)
d) Yes, almost always. (2)


22) As a parent, I decide which games my child is permitted to play:

a) Yes, always. (-1)
b) Usually. I screen most games and do not allow certain games into the house. (0)
c) Rarely. My child generally chooses which games he / she buys or installs. (2)
d) Never. My child buys and installs any game he / she wants to. (2)


23) My child makes arrangements to play online when his / her friends, team, guild, or clan will also be playing – even if this is at odd or inconvenient hours:

a) Never. (0)
b) Rarely. (1)
c) Sometimes. (2)
d) Often. (3)


24) My child would have difficulty giving up all video games for one week:

a) No, not at all. This would be very easy for my child. (-2)
b) My child wouldn’t like it, but he / she could do it without too many complaints. (1)
c) My child would have great difficulty giving up video games for one week. (2)
d) It would be virtually impossible for my child to give up video games for one week. (3)


25) My child eats meals while playing video games:

a) Never, just a snack now and then. (0)
b) Sometimes.(1)
c) Often. (2)
d) Always. (3)


26) My child admits that he / she plays video games too much:

a) No. (0)
b) Yes. (3)


27) My child gets headaches, red eyes, sore fingers, or wrist pains from playing video games:

a) Never or very rarely. (0)
b) Sometimes. (1)
c) Often. (2)


28) My child plays video games at the first available opportunity (for example, as soon as arriving home from school, immediately after dinner, etc.):

a) Never. (0)
b) Rarely. (0)
c) Sometimes. (1)
d) Often. (2)


29) My child has had gaming sessions that lasted 7 or more hours nonstop:

a) Never. (0)
b) Rarely. (2)
c) Sometimes. (3)
d) Often. (4)


30) My child does well academically in school:

a) Never. (2)
b) Rarely. (1)
c) Usually. (-1)
d) Always. (-2)



Interpretation of your Score:


0 – 20 points
Likelihood of Video Game Addiction:
LOW

Based on your answers, it does not appear that your child is addicted to video games or has a problem with excessive gaming. Keep in mind that playing video games is now very common for both children and teens. It is still possible that your child occasionally plays for too long or neglects other responsibilities in favor of gaming – as long as this is not happening often it is probably nothing to be too concerned about. It is likely that your child plays video games as a way of relaxing, socializing with friends, or for simple entertainment, and that his or her play does not often interfere with other more important activities. The limits and structure you have provided for your child appear to working – keep it up!


21 – 40 points
Likelihood of Video Game Addiction:
MODERATE

Based on your answers, it is possible that your child is developing problematic video gaming habits. While he or she may not yet be “addicted” you have probably noticed that some areas in his or her life are starting to be affected by excessive play. For example, you may have noticed that your child’s school grades have slipped, that he / she has an erratic sleeping schedule due to gaming, and that he / she has lost interest in formerly enjoyable activities. At this point you are in a prime position to step in and make the changes necessary to prevent your child’s excessive gaming habits from becoming an addiction. As a parent it is important to set clear boundaries, limits, and expectations for your child…and rules for video games are no exception.


41 – 60 points
Likelihood of Video Game Addiction:
HIGH

Based on your answers, it is likely that your child is currently exhibiting many symptoms of video game addiction and that excessive video game play has affected multiple areas of his or her life. For example, it is likely that school grades have suffered, that your child seems disconnected from the family, and that he or she has lost interest in most activities other than gaming. If you have encouraged your child to cut back on his or her playing time this was likely met with resistance, defensiveness, or anger. Remember that you are still the parent and as such, must impose limits on your child that he or she will not like or understand at the time. For clear instructions on exactly how to do this, you may want to download How To Help Children Addicted to Video Games - A Guide for Parents. Addictionally, if you feel that you need extra help in setting and enforcing these limits, it may be useful to book a consultation with a psychologist or counsellor in your area.  


61 – 80 points
Likelihood of Video Game Addiction:
VERY HIGH

Based on your answers, it is very likely that your child is addicted to video games and that this is negatively affecting numerous areas of his life. At this point it is likely that video games (probably MMORPG, real time strategy, or first person shooters) are the center of his or her world and that few (if any) other activities are of interest. He or she probably shows little or no interest in schoolwork, despite an almost certain deterioration in grades. In extreme cases, he or she may no longer be attending school. Your child probably plays video games until very late at night and may be sleeping during the day. Attempts to get him or her to cut back have probably been unsuccessful and met with considerable defensiveness or anger. It is important to consider the possibility that your child’s video game addiction is not only a problem in and of itself, but also co-exists with another psychological or emotional problem (such as depression). Given the extent of the problem based on your answers, it is clear that action must be taken. If you do not feel capable of dealing with this situation entirely by yourself, you may find it helpful to book a consultation with a psychologist or counsellor in your area.  

 
 

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Children Addicted to Video Games - The Questionnaire for Parents

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