Video gaming and gaming addiction in transgender people: An exploratory study
Bouman, Walter P.
Jones, Bethany A.
MetadataShow full item record
Background: There is anecdotal clinical evidence that transgender people use the online world - such as forums and online video gaming - for the purpose of experiencing their gender identity in a safe, non-threatening, non-alienating, non-stigmatizing, and non-critical environment. Aims: To describe gaming behavior, degree of problematic gaming behavior and associated factors with problematic gaming in a comparatively large group of transgender people accessing transgender health services. Methods: Every individual referred to a national transgender health service in the United Kingdom during a 12-month period was invited to complete a series of questionnaires to measure gaming behavior, interpersonal functioning, severity of autistic features, and anxiety and depressive symptoms. Results: A total of 245 people agreed to participate in the study with 154 (62.9%) describing themselves as current gamers. Gaming behavior in the transgender population attending transgender health services was prevalent, but less than 1% of them presented with clinical scores for Internet Gaming Disorder, with no differences according to gender. Problematic gaming behavior was associated with general interpersonal problems, depression, and young age. Discussion and conclusions: Transgender people who engage in problematic gaming behavior are younger, and present with high interpersonal problems, and depression, which can affect a successful transition. In view of the high levels of gaming activity in this population games that are designed to address these psychological problems may be well received by transgender people. © 2017 The Author(s).