Negative Emotional States, Satisfaction With Life, and Romantic Relationships in Young Adult Gamers and Non-gamers: An Exploratory Study
Landon, J; Shepherd, D; Goedeke, S; Li, M
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Objectives: A body of research is clarifying the complexity of the effects of online gaming on the lives of gamers. We explored self-reported negative emotional states, satisfaction with life, and relationship satisfaction in a sample of young adults. Methods: We recruited 165 student participants (70.9% female; Mage = 24.24, SD = 6.15) who completed an online survey. Two-way ANCOVAs were used to assess the relationships between online gaming, gender and the measures of negative emotional states, satisfaction with life, and relationship satisfaction. Results: No effects of gaming on relationship satisfaction were evident. However, gaming was positively related to satisfaction with life. In contrast, when negative emotional states were examined, female gamers had higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress than both non-gamers and male gamers. Conclusion and Implications: This highlights the complexities of the effects of gaming and that gaming itself should not be pathologized. The interactions evident in female gamers require further investigation, with the results supporting the notion that in some cohorts pre-existing characteristics of gamers might be a factor, as could how female gamers engage with online gaming environments. Further, the distinction between cognitive judgmental measures of satisfaction with life and negative emotional states was reiterated.