The main objective of our study is to assess the relationship between playing online video games and mental wellbeing of adolescents based on a nationally representative sample. Data come from the Korean Children and Youth Panel Survey (KCYPS), a government-funded multiyear research project. Through a secondary analysis of W2 and W3 of data collected in 2011 and 2012, we examine the extent to which time spent playing online games is related to depression, as measured by a battery of items modeled after the abridged version of Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised (CESD-R). For proper temporal ordering, the outcome variable is drawn from the latter wave (W3), whereas all time-lagged covariates are taken from the earlier wave (W2). Multilevel regression models show that more game playing is associated with greater depression. Findings also indicate that, net of individual-level variables (e.g., gender, health, family background), living in a community with more divorced families adds to adolescent depression. Finally, a cross-level interaction is observed: the positive association between game playing and depression is more pronounced in an area characterized by a lower aggregate divorce rate.
- neighborhood effect
- video game play