Problematic Use of Video Games and Substance Abuse in Early Adolescence: A Cross-sectional Study

Luigi Gallimberti, Alessandra Buja, Sonia Chindamo, Andrea Rabensteiner, Alberto Terraneo, Elena Marini, Luis Javier Gómez Pérez, Vincenzo Baldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Problematic use of video games (PUVG) is associated with substance use in middle school students. The aim of our study was to examine the association between PUVG and substance abuse in children and young adolescents. Methods: A survey was conducted during the 2014- 2015 school year in Padua (northeastern Italy). The sample consisted of 1156 students in grades 6 to 8. A multivariate logistic regression model was applied to seek associations between PUVG (dependent variable) and independent variables. Results: Logistic regression showed that lifetime drunkenness, combined energy drink and alcohol consumption (lifetime), reading comics, and disrespect for rules increased the odds of PUVG, whereas playing competitive sport, eating fruit and/ or vegetables daily, finding it easy to talk with fathers and being female lowered the odds of PUVG in early adolescence. Conclusions: Our findings show that PUVG is more likely in young adolescents at risk of substance abuse. Prevention schemes focusing on early adolescence should be based on a multicomponent intervention strategy that takes PUVG into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-603
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol
  • Problematic use of video games
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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