Pathological video-gaming among youth: A prospective study examining dynamic protective factors

Albert K. Liau, Hyekyung Choo, Dongdong Li, Douglas A. Gentile, Boon Wee Timothy Sim, Angeline Khoo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


The primary aim of the study was to understand the phenomenon of pathological videogaming by identifying protective factors for its development, and examining the dynamic interplay between protective factors and pathological video-gaming within a framework of change. The study was a 2-year longitudinal study involving 3034 children and adolescents recruited from 6 elementary and 6 secondary schools. Controlling for initial levels of pathological video-gaming, personal strengths and familial factors such as parent-child connectedness, and warm family environment were found to be protective factors for later pathological gaming. Increases in levels of emotional regulation and family environment warmth were related to decreases in pathological video-gaming. Higher initial levels and increases in pathological video-gaming were related to higher levels of later depressive symptoms, controlling for earlier levels of depressive symptoms. The study adds to the growing evidence that pathological video-gaming has potentially serious mental health consequences, in particular, on depression. For health providers who work with pathological video-gamers, the findings suggest that developing self-regulatory skills such as emotional regulation, and improving the family environment are useful strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Depression
  • Latent growth modeling
  • Longitudinal study
  • Pathological video-gaming
  • Risk and protective factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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