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The moderating role of psychosocial well-being on the relationship between escapism and excessive online gaming

Kardefelt-Winther, Daniel (2014) The moderating role of psychosocial well-being on the relationship between escapism and excessive online gaming. Computers in Human Behavior, 38 . pp. 68-74. ISSN 0747-5632

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to empirically test the proposed theory of compensatory internet use, suggesting that people who play online games excessively are motivated to do so because they need to cope with psychosocial problems (Kardefelt-Winther, 2014a; Kardefelt-Winther, 2014b). The study used survey data from players of World of Warcraft (WoW), a popular MMO game. The indicators of psychosocial problems were high stress and low self-esteem and the motivation was escapism. The empirical analysis investigated interaction effects between indicators of psychosocial well-being and motivations. It was hypothesized that the relationship between escapism and negative outcomes would be positive for individuals with high stress or low self-esteem, which would be indicative of escapist online gaming as a coping strategy. However, this was only expected for individuals who experience more negative outcomes from their online gaming, which would highlight an important difference between those who experience many problems and those who experience few. The results showed that both stress and self-esteem moderated the relationship between escapism and negative outcomes as expected. In both cases, the relationship between escapism and negative outcomes was positive in the presence of more psychosocial problems (i.e. high stress or low self-esteem) for those who experience many negative outcomes, but not for those who experience few. The results support the theory of compensatory internet use and suggest that excessive online gaming may be a coping strategy for life problems rather than a mental disorder as proposed in DSM-V.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/07475...
Additional Information: © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 14:34
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/57508/

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