Front Psychol. 2019 Apr 26;10:898. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00898.
Lopez-Fernandez O1,2, Williams AJ1,3, Kuss DJ1.
Research investigating female gaming is relatively scarce, and past research has demonstrated that men are more likely to be problematic gamers. Few studies have focused on female gamers in community samples, and those that have been published have mainly collected qualitative data in Europe. There is case study evidence suggesting clinicians are increasingly treating problem female gamers. The aim of this study is threefold: (i) to establish an international female gamer profile, (ii) to determine predictors associated with perceived internet gaming disorder (IGD), and (iii) to identify those who are potentially at risk of developing gaming addiction and its characteristics by applying a quantitative approach. A cross-sectional online survey was applied through international gaming forums recruiting 625 female gamers, assessing sociodemographics, gaming devices used and play genres, and a set of questionnaires on gaming [e.g., problem online gaming (e.g., the nine-item short-form scale to assess IGD: IGDS9-SF), female stereotypes (e.g., sex role stereotyping scale), and psychological symptoms (e.g., Symptom CheckList-27-plus)]. Female gamers from all continents reported the use of all videogames, especially popular online games using computers and consoles. The proportion of gamers with potential IGD was one per cent. Regression analyses identified several risk factors for increased scores on the IGDS9-SF, namely having achievement and social motivations, embodied presence and identification with the avatar, hostility and social phobia together with negative body image, playing Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, and First-Person-Shooter games. Findings contribute to filling the gap in knowledge on female gaming, to aid in the applicability of problematic gaming measurements in female gamers, especially those who are at risk of problematic gaming. The purpose of this study is to enhance the validity of the current measures to diagnose problem gaming appropriately in both genders.
KEYWORDS: female gamer; female gender; gaming disorder; internet addiction; internet gaming disorder; psychological assessment; psychometrics; psychopathology