Trends and correlates of the time spent playing videogames in Italian children and adolescents

Simone Amendola


Background: The use of electronic devices and screen-time behaviours among young people have increased in the last two decades. However, empirical evidence on trends in time spent playing videogames among Italian youths is lacking. The present study examined trends and correlates of the time spent by children and adolescents playing videogames in Italy between 2006 and 2014.

Methods: Data from the cross-sectional Italian Health School-aged Children (2006-2010-2014) study was used. The sample comprised 12,748 children and adolescents (Mage = 13.63, SD = 1.66; 50.2% males, n = 6,398). Ordinal regression models were used to analyse the data and odds ratios were reported.

Results: The time spent playing videogames increased significantly between 2006 and 2014. In particular, children and adolescents who played videogames three hours a day or more consistently increased over time (boys: from 16.6% in 2006 to 25.8% in 2014; girls: from 3.6% in 2006 to 20.8% in 2014). The results of the analyses showed associations between time spent playing videogames and sociodemographic and school characteristics, such as, age, gender, family socio-economic status, physical activity and body mass index, poor school engagement and students’ acceptance. Furthermore, bullying episodes, psychological and somatic complaints were associated with the time that children and adolescents spent playing videogames.

Conclusion: From a public health perspective, the results highlight the need to monitor the increasing excessive videogame use among young people in Italy.


Videogame use; Sedentary behaviour; Screen-time behaviour; Adolescence; Time trends.

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