COMMENT: Study found that 8.7% of young people can be classified as being video game addicts.
Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2010 Nov;39(11):822-9.
Departmentof Social Work, National University of Singapore, Singapore. [email protected]
Increase in internet use and video-gaming contributes to public concern on pathological or obsessive play of video games among children and adolescents worldwide. Nevertheless, little is known about the prevalence of pathological symptoms in video-gaming among Singaporean youth and the psychometric properties of instruments measuring pathological symptoms in video-gaming.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A total of 2998 children and adolescents from 6 primary and 6 secondary schools in Singapore responded to a comprehensive survey questionnaire on sociodemographic characteristics, video-gaming habits, school performance, somatic symptoms, various psychological traits, social functioning and pathological symptoms of video-gaming. After weighting, the survey data were analysed to determine the prevalence of pathological video-gaming among Singaporean youth and gender differences in the prevalence. The construct validity of instrument used to measure pathological symptoms of video-gaming was tested.
Of all the study participants, 8.7% were classified as pathological players with more boys reporting more pathological symptoms than girls. All variables, including impulse control problem, social competence, hostility, academic performance, and damages to social functioning, tested for construct validity, were significantly associated with pathological status, providing good evidence for the construct validity of the instrument used.
The prevalence rate of pathological video-gaming among Singaporean youth is comparable with that from other countries studied thus far, and gender differences are also consistent with the findings of prior research. The positive evidence of construct validity supports the potential use of the instrument for future research and clinical screening on Singapore children and adolescents’ pathological video-gaming.