Research: Patterns of Video Game Use and Dependence in Children and Adolescents

Patterns of Video Game Use and Dependence in Children and Adolescents

by Mariano Chóliz* and Clara Marco

University of Valencia


Playing video games is an increasingly popular leisure activity among children and adolescents, a fact made clear by both their interest in video games and the time they spend playing. Despite the recognized benefits of playing video games, excessive play can sometimes lead to overuse, and in the worst cases even serious personal and family problems. This article analyzes patterns of video game use and dependency with a specific focus on gender differences, and describes the validation of a video game dependence questionnaire that has potential relevance to addiction research and clinical treatment. The questionnaire incorporates DSM-IV criteria for Substance Dependence Disorders and adapts them to video game playing. The factor structure of the questionnaire adheres to the concept of dependence as it is defined in the DSM-IV. Video game dependence is classified with dependence on Internet and mobile phone use as a characteristic technological addiction.

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