Dr Zaheer Hussain

Research and Teaching Blog

The 2nd International Conference on Behavioral Addictions, Budapest 2015.

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Here is the abstract for the paper I presented at the 2nd International Conference on Behavioral Addictions, Budapest 2015.

Online Gaming Addiction and Motivations: Psychological links, assessment and treatment.  

Zaheer Hussain, Glenn Williams & Mark Griffiths.

Email: z.hussain@derby.ac.uk

Background and Aims: The ever increasing popularity of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) provides an important context for examining addiction. The present paper will discuss research findings of two studies investigating the psychological effects of online gaming and factors relating to online gaming addiction and motivations.

Methods: Study 1: A self-selecting sample of 119 online gamers ranging from 18 to 69 years (mean = 28.5 years) completed an online survey. Study 2: A sample of 1,167 gamers ranging from 12 years to 62 years (M = 23.5 years) completed an online survey.

Results: Study 1: Results showed that 41% of gamers played online to escape and 7% of gamers were classified as ‘dependent’ individuals who were at risk of developing a psychological dependence for online gaming. Excessive online gaming was significantly correlated with psychological and behavioural ‘dependence’. Study 2: Latent Class Analysis revealed five classes of gaming addiction-related experiences: (1) high risk of addiction, (2) time-affected, (3) intermediate risk of addiction, (4) emotional control, and (5) low risk of addiction classes. Membership of the high risk of addiction class was significantly predicted by belonging to a highly social and competitive class, a novelty class, or an aggressive, anti-social, and non-curious class.

Conclusions: Examining gaming addiction along a continuum of addictive-like experiences and the extent to which these experiences can be triggered by certain motivations to play are important. The implications of these findings for assessment and treatment of online gaming addiction and potentially new addictions are discussed.

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