Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Dec 18;17(1). pii: E3. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17010003.
Among adolescents, heavy video game use and socializing online may be valued socially by peers, depending on gender and age, which can increase life satisfaction. However, heavy video gaming may also be linked to symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder, which can decrease life satisfaction. Overall, when symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder are present, do subjects experience decreased or increased life satisfaction, all other things being equal? The aim of this study was to explore the association between Internet Gaming Disorder symptoms and life satisfaction, while controlling for gender, age, and other conditions that may impact life satisfaction. More than 2000 adolescents filled out an anonymous questionnaire at school, and 43 patients in a care center filled out the same questionnaire. Sociodemographic characteristics, family life conditions, use of screens (videos, video games, and social networks), mental health screenings, and a life satisfaction measure were collected. Distribution of participants’ characteristics was provided, and stratified multivariate analyses by young male, older male, young female, and older female school populations were carried out. Results suggested that Internet Gaming Disorder symptoms had similar prevalence before and after the age of 15 in males (21% vs. 19%) and in females (6% vs. 7%) respectively and was significantly associated with decreased life satisfaction in older males, even after adjusting for parental support, depression, and economic conditions. Associations between symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder and life satisfaction may be different depending on adolescent gender and age group.
KEYWORDS: Internet Gaming Disorder; adolescents; depression; economic conditions; gender; parental support; satisfaction in life