GRIT & Gaming Addiction

By Stephen A. McCarthy

January 14, 2022

frustrated gamer in a dark room, 2022, all rights reserved by author

Grit is increasingly relevant in Positive Psychology research, and gamers need it. More and more people play video games each year, especially these past couple years where  gaming has provided an outlet to socialize, stay entertained, and ‘git good’ [sic] with their friends all from the comfort of one’s own home. With the rising prevalence of online gaming, so too rises the presence of gaming addiction – and certain factors can clue you in to how susceptible you are to it.

Researchers at Kiel University in Germany studied the prognostic values of Grit with online gaming addiction using the German version of the Short Grit Scale and Game Addiction Scale and found that Grit can be considered a protective factor against online gaming addiction. There were 305 participants in the final sample with 63% being male, 37% being female, all between 15 and 60 years old with an average age of 28.44 years old. Participant responses were collected through an online questionnaire that was distributed across social media and online forums, were anonymous, and followed all German data protections laws and ethical standards.

Incidentally,  the higher the Grit score and older in age, the less likely they found participants to be addicted to online games. The methods used are highly similar to those used in research for substance abuse addiction.

This research supports other research and furthers the line of reasoning that Grit might be protective against addictive behavior as a whole. With more research to support this line of inquiry, mindset interventions and mentoring in building grit could potentially help those of us prone to addiction.

Based on

Borzikowsky, C., & Bernhardt, F. (2018). Lost in virtual gaming worlds: Grit and its prognostic value for online game addiction. The American journal on addictions, 10.1111/ajad.12762. Advance online publication.

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