Impact of Family Support and Perception of Loneliness on Game Addiction Analysis of a Mediation and Moderation

Impact of Family Support and Perception of Loneliness on Game Addiction Analysis of a Mediation and Moderation

Muhittin Şahin (Ege University, Bornova, Turkey), Sinan Keskin (Van Yuzuncu Yil University, Tuşba/Van, Turkey) and Halil Yurdugül (Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJGBL.2019100102

Abstract

This study aims to analyse the psychological constructs of loneliness and family support on game addiction among children, who are a major risk group for game addiction. The study explores: a) the effect of the secondary-school students' perception of family support on game addiction; b) the mediation effect of the feeling of loneliness experienced by children in the effect of family support on game addiction; and c) the moderating effect of gender on the mediation model. The study group is composed of 575 students studying in a secondary school in the city of Ankara. For the analysis of the data, the study employed factorial and structure validity analyses, a reliability analysis, a structural equation model, and mediator and moderator variable analyses. The study concluded that although family support had a significant effect on game addiction, a major part of such effect resulted from the individual's perception of loneliness, which was more evident among the female students.
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Introduction

Given the sales number of digital games, the number of players, and the time spent on digital games in a global sense, it is blatantly clear that digital technologies, particularly digital games, have been seriously occupying the daily lives as well as the agenda. Digital games affect a wide range of areas, as well as education. Especially in recent years, many educational games have been developed with the positive effects of game-based learning (McLaren, Adams, Mayer, & Forlizzi, 2017). Game-based learning uses essential and effective game design features and principles to motivate students to the learning context (Kennedy, & Lee, 2018). It’s seen that game-based learning improved students’ social skills, increased their success, positively affect their loyalty, improved satisfaction and improved learning outcomes (Cardinot, & Fairfield, 2019; York, & deHaan, 2018; Chen, & Sun, 2016; Perrotta, Featherstone, Aston, & Houghton, 2013). In addition to this, game-based learning can improve individuals’ 21st-century skills (Qian, & Clark, 2016). The games provide clear goals, support for active learning by providing feedback, provide the opportunity to practice until mastery and offer both internal and external rewards and these features lead to success (Bösche, & Kattner, 2011).

Digital games provide opportunities for individuals by serving as a leisure activity, offering fun, competition and social interaction (Kennedy, & Lee, 2018; Sherry, Lucas, Greenberg & Lachlan, 2006), they may have negative impacts on them as well (Bösche, & Kattner, 2011). In the worst case, the mere habit of playing digital games evolves into an addiction. Today, particularly children and adolescents are playing digital games as a major leisure activity (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011), which shows that children and adolescents are the most at-risk group to develop an addiction to digital games. Game addiction is defined as “gaming disorder” by the World Health Organization since 2017 (WHO, 2019). In the context of this research, the concept of game addiction was used. Available research on game addiction regarding the risk group of children and adolescents are many in number (Chiu, Lee, & Huang, 2004; Erboy, 2010; Griffiths & Wood, 2000; Gunuc, 2017; Horzum, Ayas & Çakır Balta, 2008; Kuss & Griffiths, 2012; Skoric, Teo, & Neo, 2009). Further, family and children’s perceptions of loneliness are important in game addiction, which is described as problematic behaviour (Peters & Malesky, 2008). Research shows that game addiction affects only a small proportion of people who are involved in digital or video game activities (WHO, 2019). Discussing the relationships in the context of game addiction, family support and perception of loneliness, this study first reviews conceptual definitions and then presents method, findings and conclusion specific to the study.

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