Multiplatform digital media use and gaming have been increased in recent years. The aim of this study was to examine associations between sociodemographics and digital gaming behavior characteristics (i.e., gaming time, medium, and genres) with problematic gaming behavior in adolescents. A convenience sample of Finnish junior high school students (n = 560; mean age 14 years, ranging from 12 to 16 years) participated in the cross-sectional survey, of which, 83% (n = 465) reported having played digital games regularly. Sociodemographic data, different forms of digital media use, gaming behavior characteristics and problematic gaming behavior was assessed. Study participants spent on average one hour per day playing digital games; casual games (23.9%), shooting games (19.8%), and sport games (12.9%), were the most popular games among participants. By using regression analysis, a blended family structure and gaming time related positively to problematic gaming behavior. Preferences for game genres such as solo, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing and strategy-management games were also positively associated with problematic use of digital games. These findings provide knowledge that can be utilized in the prevention of the possible negative consequences of digital gaming.
Keywords: Internet Gaming Disorder; adolescents; digital media use; gaming types; problematic gaming.