Motives for playing and online gaming time in relation to depression, musculoskeletal symptoms and psychosomatic symptoms: a populationbased cross-sectional study of Swedish adolescents
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Objective: Playing online computer games is one of the most common leisure activities among adolescents. However, frequent computer-related activities have been suggested to be a new health risk factor associated with psychosomatic and physical complaints. The present study examined online gaming time and motives for playing, in relation to depression, musculoskeletal symptoms and psychosomatic symptoms. Methods: A total of 7,757 Swedish adolescents aged 13–18 years completed a voluntary, anonymous questionnaire during class hours that included questions about demographic background, depressive symptoms, musculoskeletal symptoms, psychosomatic symptoms and gaming habits. Results: Increased gaming time on weekdays elevated the odds for depression, musculoskeletal symptoms and psychosomatic symptoms. However, the effects of time spent gaming were further explained by motives for playing. Gaming on weekdays for more than five hours a day, in combination with escape motives, revealed the highest odds for depression symptoms (OR = 5.335, p < 0.001), musculoskeletal symptoms (OR = 2.614, p < 0.001), and psychosomatic symptoms (OR = 4.814, p < 0.001). The increases in odds for depression symptoms, musculoskeletal symptoms and psychosomatic symptoms were less obvious among weekend gamers. Conclusion: Motives for playing was the dominant factor in relation to depression, musculoskeletal symptoms and psychosomatic symptoms, whereas the time factor was of less importance. Online gaming motives may identify problem gamers in need of intervention to reduce their unhealthy gaming behaviour. Further research on health issues in relation to online gaming should consider the combined effects of time spent gaming and gaming motives.
adolescent; computer games; depression; health; musculoskeletal symptoms; psychosomatic symptoms
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject Family Medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-210295OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-210295DiVA: diva2:661784
Opublicerat manuscript. Ingår som delarbete2 i Licentiatexamination.2013-11-042013-11-042013-11-14Bibliographically approved