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|Chagas Brandão L.; Sanchez Z.M.; de O. Galvão P.P.; da Silva Melo M.H.
Mental health and behavioral problems associated with video game playing among Brazilian adolescents
Chagas Brandão L.; Sanchez Z.M.; de O. Galvão P.P.; da Silva Melo M.H. Mental health and behavioral problems associated with video game playing among Brazilian adolescents,Journal of Addictive Diseases 40 2
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|Background: The problematic use of video games is linked to mental health and behavioral problems among adolescents. World reported averages for problematic use range from 1.3% to 19.3%. This is the first study to investigate these problems among Brazilian adolescents. Objectives: This study aimed to describe the prevalence of the non-problematic and problematic use of video games among Brazilian adolescents, and to assess mental health and behavioral problems associated with both types of use. Methods: This study used the baseline data of a cluster randomized controlled trial that evaluated the effectiveness of the school-based program #Tamojunto2.0. The sample included 3,939 eighth-grade students who answered an anonymous self-report questionnaire. Video game use was investigated through a question, and problematic use was assessed using a scale. Weighted logistic regressions were used to investigate the associated factors. Results: The results show that 85.85% of the children reported playing video games in the past year, 28.17% fulfilled our criteria for problematic use. Non-problematic video game use is associated with being male, younger ages, and bullying perpetration. Problematic video game use is associated with being male, tobacco and alcohol use, bullying perpetrators, and bullying victims, with abnormal levels of hyperactivity/inattention, social behavior problems, conduct problems, peer relationship problems, and emotional symptoms. Conclusion: Brazilian adolescents’ self-reported use of video games is compatible with the world average, but the percentage of those who showed problematic use is higher than the world average. This study demonstrates the need for investigating how to prevent and intervene in this situation. © 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.