Re-evaluating the Digital Gaming Profiles of Children and Adolescents during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparative Analysis Comprising 2 Years of Pre-Pandemic Data

Cakiroglu S., Soylu N., Gormez V.

ADDICTA-THE TURKISH JOURNAL ON ADDICTIONS, vol.8, no.1, pp.51-57, 2021 (ESCI) identifier


In this study, we aimed to examine the technology use behaviors and problematic gaming profiles of children and adolescents during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic lockdown period. We compared the findings with data collected before the pandemic. The Internet Gaming Disorder Questionnaire (IGDQ) was distributed online to students aged 10 to 18 years. More than half of the participants (54%) spent more time playing digital games during the pandemic. Compared with the data from May 2018, the time spent playing digital games and the total score of the IGDQ were significantly higher in boys than in girls (p<0.001). The percentage of students who spent over 40 hours a week playing digital games was 3.9% in May 2018 compared with 8.7% in June 2020. Before the pandemic, 43.6% of the participants reported that they had spent 8 hours or more per week on digital gaming, whereas this amount was as high as 683% during the pandemic. Male students spent more time on digital gaming, while female students spent more time on social media and testing. Despite the list of uncontrolled confounders in this study, children and adolescents are likely to spend more time on digital gaming. The subsequent psychosocial impact may require further attention, especially during lockdown restrictions.