Subtypes of Adolescent Video Gamers: a Latent Class Analysis

  • Guy Faulkner
  • Hyacinth Irving
  • Edward M. Adlaf
  • Nigel Turner


Objective Excessive video gaming may represent a behavioural addiction among adolescents. The objective of this study was to identify and describe the taxonomy of problem gamers based on responses to the Problem Video Game Playing (PVP) scale. Methods Data based on 3338 Ontario high schoolers sampled from 103 schools (aged 11–20; male = 51 %) who completed self-administered questionnaires. Following latent class extraction, a regression assessed the association between the derived classes and the covariates sex and socioeconomic status. We also assessed self-rated physical and mental health as auxiliary variables in the model to evaluate the predictive validity of the extracted classes. Results A 4-class model provided the best statistical fit to the nine PVP symptoms. The Severe PVP, High PVP, Low PVP and Normative classes comprised 1.9 %, 12.2 %, 36.0 % and 50.0 % of the sample, respectively. The Severe PVP class was characterized by having the highest probabilities of endorsing the PVP items. The High PVP class was differentiated from the Severe PVP class by having lower probabilities of endorsing the disregard for consequences and the lies and deception items and moderate probabilities of endorsing withdrawal and escape items. Significantly poorer physical and mental health outcomes differentiated the Severe PVP class from the remaining classes. Conclusions Adolescent problem video gamers are not homogeneous. They experience differing patterns of symptoms requiring attention of prevention programmers and clinicians.


Problem video game playing (PVP) scale Latent class analysis (LCA) Ontario high school students Ontario student drug use and health survey Mental health 



Preparation of this work was funded in part by ongoing support from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. We would like to thank all the schools and students that participated in the study, and the Institute for Social Research at York University for assistance with the survey design and data collection.

Conflict of Interest

The authors do not have a financial relationship with the organization that sponsored the research. Guy Faulkner, Hyacinth Irving, Edward Adlaf and Nigel Turner declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy Faulkner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hyacinth Irving
    • 2
  • Edward M. Adlaf
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nigel Turner
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical EducationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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