Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

High-engagement gameplay behaviors and mental health
by Zaitsoff, Andrew, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2016, 157; 10154776
Abstract (Summary)

As video games have become increasing popular, it becomes increasingly important for psychology researchers and practitioners to understand the impact that video game play has on the individuals who engage in it. Several reasons for play are identified, with the social aspects of play being the most common. The difficulties of developing a common definition for problematic play, as well as attempts to quantify those behaviors with assessments are reviewed, with the conclusion that no existing assessment accurately identifies problematic play without overestimation. The unsettled implications of problematic play, including the recent Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association Supreme Court case are explored. Finally, treatment methods for problematic play and implications for future research are discussed.

The current study expands on Charlton and Danforth’s (2007) study establishing “addiction” and “engagement” as distinct constructs. 2,092 participants were sorted into four different categories (low-engagement/low-problematic, low-engagement/high-problematic, high-engagement/low-problematic, and high-engagement/high-problematic), and their responses to the Mental Health Inventory (Veit & Ware, 1983) were compared. Participants in the high-problematic groups were found to have more negative mental health scores than participants in the low-problematic groups; specifically, their responses demonstrated lower scores on the Positive Affect and Life Satisfaction factors, while also showing higher scores on the Anxiety and Depression factors. Participants in the high-engagement groups demonstrated higher scores on the Loss of Control and Emotional Ties factors, even in the high-engagement/high-addiction group. Similarly, individuals in the low-engagement/low-problematic group demonstrated the lowest scores on the Loss of Control factor. The study continues with several implications for future research, practice, and advocacy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chung, Barry
Commitee: Estell, David, Svetina, Dubravka, Vaughan, Ellen
School: Indiana University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 78/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Addiction, Mental health, Video game play
Publication Number: 10154776
ISBN: 978-1-369-09869-3
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