Gaming disorder is a behavioral problem characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences (WHO, 2018). Adolescents and young adults are particularly vulnerable to become addicted to Internet/video games. This study investigated the role of parental behaviors and family dynamics in influencing adolescent Internet gaming behavior. 365 parent-adolescent dyads were recruited to complete surveys about own gaming behaviors, parent-child relationship, and family communication. The average ages were 47 years old for the parents and 15 years old for their adolescent offspring. Based on adolescents’ self-reports, about 19% of them would be classified as being addicted to Internet games according to the cut-off scores of the Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire (Papay et al. 2013). This prevalence rate is higher than earlier studies on Asian adolescents and young adults (about 2-10%). The present results also showed that higher scores on adolescent-reported addictive gaming behavior were related to younger age and male gender as well as parents’ reports on their own gaming and addictive work behavior. Parents’ self-reported depression symptoms, parent-child conflicts, and poor family communication did not significantly correlate with adolescents’ reports on their own addictive gaming behavior. Results from multiple regression showed that the best predictors for adolescents’ self-reported addictive gaming behavior were their own age and parents’ self-reported gaming behavior. Results have implications for designing public education and prevention programs to tackle the rising incidences of gaming disorder in Asian countries.
Catherine So-Kum Tang, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Yee Woen Yvaine Koh, National University of Singapore, Singapore