Loneliness, regulatory focus, inter-personal competence, and online game addiction

Ji-yeon Lee (Counseling Psychology, Graduate School of Education, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, The Republic of Korea)
Dong Woo Ko (School of Business, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, The Republic of Korea)
Hyemin Lee (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, The Republic of Korea)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Publication date: 1 April 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the predictors of game addiction based on loneliness, motivation and inter-personal competence using the samples of college students recruited from South Korea (n=251).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examined the underlying mechanism of game addiction by testing a moderated mediation model, in which inter-personal competence moderated the mediation model of loneliness, regulatory focus and online game addiction. First, the authors clarified the relationship among loneliness, motivation and inter-personal competence, to understand the influences of loneliness on other variables in this study (mediation test). Second, the authors examined the underlying mechanism of game addiction by testing a moderated mediation model, in which inter-personal competence moderated the mediation model of loneliness, regulatory focus and online game addiction (moderated mediation).

Findings

Regulatory focus mediated the effect of loneliness on online game addiction. Moderated mediation analyses using PROCESS confirmed that inter-personal competence significantly buffered the indirect effect of loneliness (through regulatory focus) on online game addiction. The findings indicated that inter-personal competence accounted for significant differences in the mediation models.

Originality/value

This study bridges the gap in the online game addiction literature by explaining how loneliness is associated with online game addiction.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is supported by Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund.

Citation

Lee, J., Ko, D. and Lee, H. (2019), "Loneliness, regulatory focus, inter-personal competence, and online game addiction", Internet Research, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 381-394. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-01-2018-0020

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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