Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Meredith K. Ginley

Committee Members

Jon B. Ellis, Rachel Miller-Slough, Eric Sellers


For most students, playing video games is a popular, enjoyable activity to do in their leisure time. While many people play video games for fun, some do develop problems associated with their play. Excessive engagement in video game play can lead to significant impairment and clinically significant levels of harm. However, there are several important gaps in the research literature which limit understanding of potential harm. First, little is known about the gaming behavior of students, ranging from middle-school to graduate school, specifically as it relates to their reasons for playing video games and their time spent playing. Second, concerns regarding the readability of measures of Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) have been identified in past research that informed the creation of an enhanced literacy assessment of IGD. Third, given the novel COVID-19 pandemic significantly altering day-to-day life and directly decreasing the amount of time individuals were able to spend outside their home, it was not yet known how gaming behavior may have been fundamentally altered. Via a three-study design, the current project addressed gaps in the literature regarding video game use of students, established the reliability and validity of a measure of IGD with enhanced literacy, and provided summative data regarding perceptions of distance learning and potential changes in gaming behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Monday, January 15, 2024