The Mediation Effects of Behavioral Motivations between Age of Gaming Onset and Internet Gaming Disorder
Background and Aims: Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) exhibits neurobiological similarities with other addictive disorders. Similar to other behavioral addictions, age of onset of game-play impacts the development of IGD. The present study utilized the Video Game Functional Assessment-Revised (VGFA-R) to explore the relationship between components of the motivations (mediating variable) contributing to IGD, symptomatic severity of IGD or risk for having IGD and the impact of age of gaming onset. Methods: Participants were recruited via Mass Media Recruitment at a US Midwestern University (304 remained after exclusion criteria applied). The study used a mediation analysis to evaluate the effects of gaming onset on the clinical diagnosis of IGD and the maintaining behavioral function of videogame play. Results: Age of onset (independent variable) was not directly related to IGD. Each level of the VGFA-R was significantly related to the IGD. None of the levels of the VGFA-R significantly mediated the relationship between age of gaming onset and IGD. Discussion and Conclusions: Results demonstrated two important findings: (i) a significant relationship between IGD and the VGFA-R (i.e., attention and sensory function), and (ii) age of onset was significantly related to the VGFA-R (attention, e cape, tangible and sensory).