Correlates of problematic gaming – Is there support for proneness to risky behaviour? (2018)

Psychiatr Danub. 2017 Sep;29(3):302-312. doi: 10.24869/psyd.2017.302.

Šincek D1, Humer JT, Duvnjak I.



This paper explores problematic Internet gaming in the context of other forms of risky behaviour. The basic premise is that children and adolescents at risk will display different types of risky behaviour in various settings.


Children and adolescents (N=1150) were surveyed about (cyber)violence, problematic gaming (habits, motives and symptoms), self-disclosure via Facebook and self-esteem.


Regular gamers were more violent both face-to-face and via the Internet, and were more prone to problematic gaming than occasional gamers. Those who played games for more than five hours per day (9% of respondents) were classified as potentially problematic gamers. They experienced and committed more violence both face-to-face and via the Internet, were more involved in self-disclosure and had more problematic gaming symptoms than those who played for less than five hours a day, but these groups did not differ in self-esteem. Participants could choose from a list of eight different motives for their gaming; those motivated by peer communication, a sense of control, relaxation, conformism, self-efficacy and to distract from problems reported more symptoms of problematic gaming than those not motivated by these factors. Gender, age, self-esteem, self-disclosure and committing violence contributed to explaining the variance in problematic gaming, accounting for about 26% of its variance. Boys, lower self-esteem, more self-disclosure and committing both types of violence more regularly were connected with reporting more symptoms of problematic gaming. The results will be discussed in the context of a general proneness to risky behaviour.


Committing violence against peers (both traditional and cyber) predicts significantly problematic gaming. This supports the premise that children and adolescents at risk are prone to exhibiting different forms of risky behaviour in different settings.

PMID: 28949311

DOI: 10.24869/psyd.2017.302