Problematic video game use as an emotional coping strategy: Evidence from a sample of MMORPG gamers

Gianluca Lo Coco, Crispino Tosto, Maria Di Blasi, Cecilia Giordano, Joel Billieux, Adriano Schimmenti, Crispino Tosto, Joel Billieux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BackgroundA positive relationship between problematic gaming and escapism motivation to play video games has been well established, suggesting that problematic gaming may result from attempts to deal with negative emotions. However, to date, no study has examined how emotion dysregulation affects both escapism motives and problematic gaming patterns.MethodsDifficulties in emotion regulation, escapism, and problematic involvement with video games were assessed in a sample of 390 World of Warcraft players. A structural equation modeling framework was used to test the hypothesis that escapism mediates the relationship between emotion dysregulation and problematic gaming.ResultsStatistical analyses showed that difficulties in emotion regulation predicted both escapism motives and problematic gaming, and that escapism partially mediated this relationship.ConclusionOur findings support the view that problematic players are likely to escape in online games as a maladaptive coping strategy for dealing with adverse emotional experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Volume8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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