Gender and player characteristics in video game play of preadolescents

Bruce D. Homer, Elizabeth O. Hayward, Jonathan Frye, Jan L. Plass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study explores the relation among different characteristics of preadolescents and their video game habits and preferences. Specifically, the predictive power of age, gender, and psychological adjustment on time spent playing video games and game preference was explored. Children ages 10-15 were given two surveys: a video game habits survey and the BASC-II self-report assessment of personality. Results confirm previous findings of significant gender differences in both time spent playing video games and game type preference. For preadolescents, males were found to spend more time overall playing video games, but for both males and females time spent playing increased with age. No relation was found between time spent playing video games and negative psychological adjustment, as assessed by the BASC-II. Game type preference was predicted by several psychological characteristics. For example, females' positive feelings about the self were associated with increased likelihood of electing First Person Shooters as a favored game type, and males' internalizing difficulties were associated with decreased likelihood of electing Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). The current findings confirm previous results with preadolescents, an under-studied age group, and lend novel insight into the psychological processes that contribute to video game preference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1782-1789
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Game genres
  • Gender
  • Preadolescents
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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