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Scott A. MacGregor is a 2014 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee

  • James Fauth, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • George Tremblay, Ph.D. Committee Member
  • Victor Pantesco, Ed,D, Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Video game addiction among adults is a serious mental health issue. Unfortunately, research on video game addiction is in its infancy and impeded by the lack of a valid and reliable measure for use with adults. Lemmens, Valkenburg, and Peter (2009) developed an adolescent video game addiction measure, the Gaming Addiction Scale (GAS); however, it has not been validated for use with an adult population. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the appropriateness of the GAS for use with adults and evaluate whether the measure is a valid and reliable measure of adult video game addiction. The measure was administered to a population of 2,820 massively multiplayer online adult gamers through popular gaming websites. Factor analysis was conducted to evaluate whether the items sorted into the same seven underlying criteria (i.e., salience, tolerance, mood modification, relapse, withdrawal, conflict, and problems) of video game addiction as the original study. This analysis revealed a four-factor structure that differed from the adolescent version of the measure but still encompassed the seven criteria of gaming addiction in a coherent manner. The GAS exhibited strong reliability and concurrent validity with loneliness, life satisfaction, and time spent gaming. The GAS did not exhibit discriminant validity with a measure of social anxiety. A hypothesized moderating effect of time spent gaming on the relationship between video game addiction and playing with real-life friends was not supported. The GAS is reliable and compatible with current understandings and diagnostic criteria; it has potential as a useful measure of video game addiction for adults. Future research should focus on further validation of the measure for adults, and clarifying the relationship between social anxiety and gaming addiction.

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