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Online Videogames Use and Anxiety in Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Department of Education Science, University of Catania, 90124 Catania, Italy
Developmental Psychopathology Research Unit, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors are to be considered as co-first authors.
Academic Editor: Natoshia R. Cunningham
Children 2021, 8(3), 205;
Received: 2 February 2021 / Revised: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 6 March 2021 / Published: 8 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
Videogames use has constantly increased among children and adolescents, with uncertain consequences on their health. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of videogames use and addiction in a sample of Italian children during the COVID-19 pandemic and their association with anxiety symptoms. One hundred and sixty-two children (M/F:78/84; age range: 8–10 years; average age 9.4 ± 0.7 years) completed the Videogame Addiction Scale for Children (VASC), the Test of Anxiety and Depression (TAD) and the Children’s Anxiety Meter—State (CAM-S). Demographic variables and data on the access to electronic tools and games preferences were also collected. Overall, 96.3% of the study participants stated to have access to one or more device. They reported a low risk of videogame addiction (VASC score (mean ± SD): 46.7 ± 15.4), a moderate level of trait anxiety (TAD score (mean ± SD): 135 ± 16.8) and a low state anxiety (CAM-S score (mean ± SD): 2.2 ± 2.1). Males reported to spend more time on videogames, to perceive higher self-control and to be more influenced by reinforcement mechanisms; females described higher levels of trait anxiety. In the regression analysis, state anxiety was a predictor of videogame use and addiction (p = 0.01). Further research is needed to confirm these data and to maximize the developmentally positive effects of videogames and preventing the negative consequences. View Full-Text
Keywords: videogames; internet gaming disorder; anxiety videogames; internet gaming disorder; anxiety
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MDPI and ACS Style

De Pasquale, C.; Chiappedi, M.; Sciacca, F.; Martinelli, V.; Hichy, Z. Online Videogames Use and Anxiety in Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Children 2021, 8, 205.

AMA Style

De Pasquale C, Chiappedi M, Sciacca F, Martinelli V, Hichy Z. Online Videogames Use and Anxiety in Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Children. 2021; 8(3):205.

Chicago/Turabian Style

De Pasquale, Concetta, Matteo Chiappedi, Federica Sciacca, Valentina Martinelli, and Zira Hichy. 2021. "Online Videogames Use and Anxiety in Children during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Children 8, no. 3: 205.

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