Addiction to computer and video games can now be measured with a simple questionnaire. Jeroen Lemmens, Patti Valkenburg, and Jochen Peter have developed a game addiction scale to assess the degree of game addiction among teens. The article, in which the research instrument is presented, will appear in the March 2009 issue of Media Psychology.

Addiction to computer and video games can now be measured with a simple questionnaire. Jeroen Lemmens, Patti Valkenburg, and Jochen Peter have developed a game addiction scale to assess the degree of game addiction among teens. The article, in which the research instrument is presented, will appear in the March 2009 issue of Media Psychology.

According to the researchers, the degree of game addiction can be assessed using 21 items that represent seven underlying dimensions of addiction (such as withdrawal symptoms, personal problems, and conflicts with parents). Over thousand teenagers from six schools in the Netherlands participated in this study. 59% of them reported playing games regularly. About 2% (only boys) of the teenagers were addicted to games. Teens who were addicted were more lonely, less satisfied with their life, less socially competent, and more aggressive than teens that were not. The article entitled Development and validation of a game addiction scale for adolescents can be downloaded here.

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