Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 103–113 | Cite as

More Than a Just a Game: Video Game and Internet Use During Emerging Adulthood

  • Laura M. Padilla-WalkerEmail author
  • Larry J. Nelson
  • Jason S. Carroll
  • Alexander C. Jensen
Empirical Research


The purpose of this study was to gain a clearer understanding of the pattern of video game and internet use among college students and to examine how electronic leisure was related to risk behaviors (i.e., drinking, drug use, sex), perceptions of the self (i.e., self worth and social acceptance), and relationships with others (i.e., relationship quality with parents and friends). Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young men, M age = 20, SD = 1.87) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried (100%) and living outside their parents’ home (90%). Results suggested that (a) video game use was linked to negative outcomes for men and women, (b) different patterns of video game and internet use existed for men and women and (c) there were different relations to risk behaviors, feelings about the self, and relationship quality based on the type of internet use, and based on gender. The discussion focuses on the implications of electronic leisure on the overall health and development of young people as they transition to adulthood.


Video games Internet use Emerging adults 



The authors would like to acknowledge Carolyn McNamara Barry and Stephanie Madsen for their extensive help on Project READY data collection. The authors also express appreciation to the instructors and students at all Project READY data collection sites for their assistance. We are grateful for the grant support from the Family Studies Center at Brigham Young University, as well as a junior faculty sabbatical grant from Loyola College in Maryland.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura M. Padilla-Walker
    • 1
    Email author
  • Larry J. Nelson
    • 1
  • Jason S. Carroll
    • 1
  • Alexander C. Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Family LifeBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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