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Problematic Use of Video Games and Substance Abuse in Early Adolescence: A Cross-sectional Study

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Objectives: Problematic use of video games (PUVG) is associated with substance use in middle school students. The aim of our study was to examine the association between PUVG and substance abuse in children and young adolescents. Methods: A survey was conducted during the 2014-2015 school year in Padua (northeastern Italy). The sample consisted of 1156 students in grades 6 to 8. A multivariate logistic regression model was applied to seek associations between PUVG (dependent variable) and independent variables. Results: Logistic regression showed that lifetime drunkenness, combined energy drink and alcohol consumption (lifetime), reading comics, and disrespect for rules increased the odds of PUVG, whereas playing competitive sport, eating fruit and/or vegetables daily, finding it easy to talk with fathers and being female lowered the odds of PUVG in early adolescence. Conclusions: Our findings show that PUVG is more likely in young adolescents at risk of substance abuse. Prevention schemes focusing on early adolescence should be based on a multicomponent intervention strategy that takes PUVG into account.
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Keywords: ADOLESCENTS; ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION; ENERGY DRINK CONSUMPTION; PROBLEMATIC USE OF VIDEO GAMES; SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: President, Novella Fronda Foundation, Padua (Italy) 2: Faculty Research Assistant, Department of Molecular Medicine, Laboratory of Public Health and Population Studies, Institute of Hygiene, University of Padua, Padua (Italy);, Email: [email protected] 3: Vice-president, Novella Fronda Foundation, Padua (Italy) 4: School of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Department of Molecular Medicine, Laboratory of Public Health and Population Studies, Institute of Hygiene, University of Padua, Padua (Italy) 5: Member, Novella Fronda Foundation, Padua (Italy) 6: fellowship, Department of Molecular Medicine, Laboratory of Public Health and Population Studies, Institute of Hygiene, University of Padua, Padua (Italy) 7: Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, Laboratory of Public Health and Population Studies, Institute of Hygiene, University of Padua, Padua (Italy)

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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