A Further Test of the Impact of Online Gaming on Psychological Wellbeing and the Role of Play Motivations and Problematic Use

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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External organisations

  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT), Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • University of Birmingham


The impact of increased online gaming play time on psychological wellbeing was examined focusing on the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game genre. This relationship was explored with respect to motivators for playing and resilience factors. A cross-sectional, online questionnaire design was employed with participants (N = 165) to examine the relationship between weekly average hours played and psychological wellbeing. Five previously reported motivators for playing were tested as mediating variables. In addition, exploratory analyses were conducted to determine the moderating effects of self-esteem and self-efficacy on 'escapist' gaming and psychological wellbeing. Results revealed a significant correlation with higher levels of play time associated with poorer psychological wellbeing. This relationship was partially mediated by 'escapist' motivation. Self-esteem was found to moderate the negative impact of 'escapist' gaming on psychological wellbeing. Research and the associated clinical implications are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-760
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date5 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Escapism, Motivators for playing, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), Online games, Problematic gaming, Self-efficacy, Self-esteem

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