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Problematic Gaming and Subjective Well-Being: How Does Mindfulness Play a Role?


Video game use becomes problematic when it disrupts the ability to fulfill social and personal responsibilities. It has also been associated with poorer subjective well-being (i.e., life satisfaction, positive and negative affectivity). Research suggests that dispositional (or trait) mindfulness (e.g., general tendency to have focused awareness of the present moment, with acceptance) is associated with greater subjective well-being. Building on research on dispositional mindfulness’ protective role against other problematic behaviours (e.g., pathological gambling), this study assessed its influence on the relationship between problematic gaming and subjective well-being. A sample of 514 frequent gamers (37.9% female; M age = 22.56 years, SD = 4.3) completed an online survey. Structural equation modelling revealed that dispositional mindfulness partially negatively mediated the relationship between problematic gaming and both life satisfaction and negative affectivity while fully positively mediating that between problematic gaming and positive affectivity, suggesting dispositional mindfulness may be clinically useful in problematic gaming prevention and interventions.

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Correspondence to Jessica Mettler.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Mettler, J., Mills, D.J. & Heath, N.L. Problematic Gaming and Subjective Well-Being: How Does Mindfulness Play a Role?. Int J Ment Health Addiction 18, 720–736 (2020).

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