A longitudinal study of the individual- and group-level problematic gaming and associations with problem gambling among Swedish adolescents

Sofia Vadlin, Cecilia Åslund, Kent W Nilsson
Brain and Behavior 2018, 8 (4): e00949

Aim: The aims of this study were to investigate the long-term stability of problematic gaming among adolescents and whether problematic gaming at wave 1 (W1) was associated with problem gambling at wave 2 (W2), three years later.

Methods: Data from the SALVe cohort, including adolescents in Västmanland born in 1997 and 1999, were accessed and analyzed in two waves W2, N  =   1576; 914 (58%) girls). At W1, the adolescents were 13 and 15 years old, and at W2, they were 16 and 18 years old. Adolescents self-rated on the Gaming Addiction Identification Test (GAIT), Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), and gambling frequencies. Stability of gaming was determined using Gamma correlation, Spearman's rho, and McNemar. Logistic regression analysis and general linear model (GLM) analysis were performed and adjusted for sex, age, and ethnicity, frequency of gambling activities and gaming time at W1, with PGSI as the dependent variable, and GAIT as the independent variable, to investigate associations between problematic gaming and problem gambling.

Results: Problematic gaming was relative stable over time, γ = 0.739, p  ≤   .001, ρ = 0.555, p  ≤   .001, and McNemar p  ≤   .001. Furthermore, problematic gaming at W1 increased the probability of having problem gambling three years later, logistic regression OR = 1.886 (95% CI 1.125-3.161), p  =   .016, GLM F  = 10.588, η2  = 0.007, p =  .001.

Conclusions: Problematic gaming seems to be relatively stable over time. Although associations between problematic gaming and later problem gambling were found, the low explained variance indicates that problematic gaming in an unlikely predictor for problem gambling within this sample.

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