Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

James Prochaska

Abstract

The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of Behavior Change has been applied to aplethora of different behaviors in an effort to allow individuals to reduce problem behaviors or increase healthy behaviors. One behavior that has not yet been applied to the TTM is problematic use of digital gaming. Although digital gaming is not necessarily a problem behavior, it can lead to problematic effects in a certain percentage of users. The purpose of this dissertation is to begin developing TTM measures to examine problematic digital game use and the impacts it can have on an individual’s life. A Decisional Balance and a Self-Efficacy measure were developed, and a number of additional statistical analyses were conducted to examine digital game users who spend at least 20 hours a week playing digital games, a population likely at risk of experiencing at least some problematic impacts in their lives from digital game use. The findings indicate that the measures show promise in applying the TTM to digital gaming, an area constantly growing in importance. Further, higher amounts of time spent playing digital games may lead to more problematic use and symptoms, such as increased impulsivity and anxiety, and decreased overall wellness

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