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Open AccessArticle

Effect of the Frustration of Psychological Needs on Addictive Behaviors in Mobile Videogamers—The Mediating Role of Use Expectancies and Time Spent Gaming

1
Department of Basic, Developmental and Educational Psychology, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
2
Serra Hunter Programme, Generalitat de Catalunya, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
3
Department of Psychology, Blanquerna School of Psychology, Education and Sport Sciences, Ramon Llull University, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
4
School of New Interactive Technologies, University of Barcelona, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6429; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176429
Received: 13 July 2020 / Revised: 28 August 2020 / Accepted: 31 August 2020 / Published: 3 September 2020
Casual videogames (CVGs), played on smartphones, are becoming increasingly popular, especially among females and adults. Whereas the addictive potential of online (computer) videogames is well-established, there is yet insufficient evidence for Internet gaming disorder (IGD) in mobile gamers and for the mediating role of some mechanisms involved. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of the frustration of psychological needs on mobile videogamers’ addictive behavior as well as the role of cognitions (game-use expectancies) and behaviors (time spent playing) through a hypothesized serial mediation model, while controlling for important correlates, such as game genre, age, gender and payment during play. A total of 471 mobile game users (211 males) with an average age of 21.73 replied to an online survey containing sociodemographic and game variables, the Need Satisfaction and Frustration Scale (NSFS), the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale-Short Form (IGDS9-SF) and a slightly modified version of the Internet Use Expectancies Scale (IUES). The results corroborate the negative effects of need frustration on IGD among mobile gamers and clarify the role of time spent playing and game-use expectancies in the development of IGD, highlighting the important role of cognitions in this relationship. We conclude that both the time spent playing and game-use expectancies should be important targets for clinical interventions, even though they are not included in the diagnostic criteria. View Full-Text
Keywords: smartphone; videogames; mobile gaming; casual videogames; addiction; self-determination theory; need frustration smartphone; videogames; mobile gaming; casual videogames; addiction; self-determination theory; need frustration
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Chamarro, A.; Oberst, U.; Cladellas, R.; Fuster, H. Effect of the Frustration of Psychological Needs on Addictive Behaviors in Mobile Videogamers—The Mediating Role of Use Expectancies and Time Spent Gaming. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6429.

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