WH&Y authors: Professor Fiona Brooks

Citation: Brooks, F., Chester, K. L., Smeeton, N. C., & Spencer, H. (2016). Video gaming in adolescence: Factors associated with leisure time use. Journal of Youth Studies, 19(1), 36–54. doi: 10.1080/13676261.2015.1048200).



The geographies of the current generation of young people are markedly distinct from previous generations by virtue of their access to a virtual playground. The vast majority of young people now engage in video gaming as a leisure activity. Drawing on findings from the 2009/2010 WHO Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study this paper set out to investigate the factors that might be associated with higher levels of video gaming. Information was collected from 4404 school students aged 11, 13 and 15 years, using anonymised self-completed questionnaires. Higher usage was defined as game play exceeding two hours a day. Separate analyses were conducted for boys and girls. For both genders higher levels of game playing was associated with early adolescence, opposite sex friends and minimal parental mediation. Bullying and going to bed hungry were associated with higher usage for boys only, while life satisfaction and family activities were linked to girls’ game playing only. Parents were identified as effective mediators of young people’s video game usage. The study identified gendered motivations for higher levels of game play, suggesting different interventions for boys and girls may be required in order for young people to create a balanced approach to video gaming.

About The Authors


WH&Y Chief Investigator Professor Fiona Brooks passed away on 13 January 2023, after a short ill...