Addiction-related behaviours among university students: Relationships between problem gambling, problematic video game playing, excessive internet use, and emotional intelligence (EI).

Taylor O'Brien, Robyn
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University of Guelph

The present study expanded upon the work of Parker et al. (2008, 2012) by confirming the links among addiction-related behaviours, including problematic gambling, video game play, and internet use (i.e., dysfunctional preoccupation), and exploring the relationship between these addiction-related behaviours and the four dimensions of the Bar-On model of emotional intelligence (EI; Bar-On, 1997) among 922 (231 men, 690 women) undergraduate students between 17 and 24 years of age (M = 19.42, SD = 1.64). Participants completed an online questionnaire package that included the Emotional Quotient Inventory: Short Form (EQ-i:S; Bar-On, 2002), a gambling activities checklist, the South Oaks Gambling Screen - Revised for Adolescents (SOGS-RA; Winters et al., 1993), a video game activities checklist, the Problematic Video Game Playing Scale (PVGS; Salguero & Moran, 2002), an internet mediated activities checklist, and the Internet Addiction Test (IAT; Young, 1998). The results provided support for the dysfunctional preoccupation construct among university students. This construct reflects the relationships among addiction-related behaviours, and provides some support for a common underlying etiology in addiction-related behaviours. The four dimensions of EI were stronger predictors of addiction-related behaviours among females than males. Perceived stress management abilities were the most reliable predictor of addiction-related behaviour symptomatology among both males and females, whereas interpersonal abilities were found to be the strongest predictor of addiction-related behaviours among females. The observed relationship between affect regulation abilities and addiction-related behaviours among females is consistent with previous work that has found affect-regulation deficiencies to be risk factors in the development of addiction-related behaviours.

Emotional intelligence, behavioural addiction, dysfunctional preoccupation