Summaries - Research
Back Understanding Motivational Factors of Problematic Video Gaming in the USMC
|Division||Research & Sponsored Programs|
|Department||NPS Naval Research Program|
Rock, Megan D.
|Sponsor||Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Navy)|
A significant percentage of active duty service members (ADSMs) spends free time playing video games. This recreational activity is not unexpected given the relatively young age of many ADSMs and the prevalence of video gaming in the US population. The military operational environment, however, is characterized by high levels of occupational stress and poor sleep conditions which can result in increased risk of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. In such conditions, video games may be a strategy for coping with stress. In contrast, excessive video gaming can become problematic because it has the potential to affect well-being and behavior. For example, excessive video gaming is associated with high stress levels (Milani et al., 2018), lower psychosocial well-being and psychological functioning (von der Heiden et al., 2019), loneliness and depression (Lemmens et al., 2011), and delinquency and aggressive behavior (Milani et al., 2018; Engelhardt et al., 2011; Ewoldsen et al., 2012). Video gaming may also interfere with sleep when gamers stay up late playing video games instead of sleeping (Matsangas, Shattuck, & Saitzyk, 2020). In extreme cases, video gaming can become an addiction. In the scientific literature, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) is associated with poor emotion regulation, impaired prefrontal cortex functioning and cognitive control, poor working memory and decision-making capabilities, and a neuronal deficiency similar to substance-related addictions (Kuss et al., 2018).
Given its potential negative impact on individual and team performance, we propose to assess problematic video gaming in two samples: US Marine Corps personnel and US Navy sailors. Based on surveys and focus groups, the research approach will be tailored for the needs of each service. Data will be collected from personnel in up to three USMC commands, whereas data from USN sailors will be collected on two ships, one in port and one underway. The study will focus on assessing the prevalence and extent of playing video games, identify factors associated with this activity, address whether Marines and Sailors are using gaming as a maladaptive coping mechanism, and provide appropriate recommendations.
|Keywords||Problematic video gaming Video Game addictive behaviors psychological functioning|
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