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J Behav Addict. 2018 Mar 1;7(1):88-99. doi: 10.1556/2006.6.2017.080. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Mobile gaming and problematic smartphone use: A comparative study between Belgium and Finland.

Author information

1 International Gaming Research Unit, Psychology Department, Nottingham Trent University , Nottingham, UK.
2 Laboratory for Experimental Psychopathology, Institut de recherche en sciences psychologiques, Université catholique de Louvain , Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.
3 Department of Social Services and Rehabilitation, Oulu University of Applied Sciences , Oulu, Finland.
4 Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu , Oulu, Finland.
5 Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, Oulu University Hospital , Oulu, Finland.


Background and aims Gaming applications have become one of the main entertainment features on smartphones, and this could be potentially problematic in terms of dangerous, prohibited, and dependent use among a minority of individuals. A cross-national study was conducted in Belgium and Finland. The aim was to examine the relationship between gaming on smartphones and self-perceived problematic smartphone use via an online survey to ascertain potential predictors. Methods The Short Version of the Problematic Mobile Phone Use Questionnaire (PMPUQ-SV) was administered to a sample comprising 899 participants (30% male; age range: 18-67 years). Results Good validity and adequate reliability were confirmed regarding the PMPUQ-SV, especially the dependence subscale, but low prevalence rates were reported in both countries using the scale. Regression analysis showed that downloading, using Facebook, and being stressed contributed to problematic smartphone use. Anxiety emerged as predictor for dependence. Mobile games were used by one-third of the respective populations, but their use did not predict problematic smartphone use. Very few cross-cultural differences were found in relation to gaming through smartphones. Conclusion Findings suggest mobile gaming does not appear to be problematic in Belgium and Finland.


cross-cultural study; dangerous smartphone use; mobile gaming; problematic mobile phone use; prohibited smartphone use; smartphone dependence

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