Confounding analysis with gaming aspects in predicting psychological distress of esports players

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This research aimed to explore the interplay between the central and peripheral aspects of gaming and their correlation with internet gaming disorder (IGD) in predicting indicators of psychological distress. The study proposed that the core and peripheral characteristics of gaming serve as confounding variables affecting the direct relationship between IGD and psychological distress. Employing a longitudinal design spanning two distinct timeframes, the research involved 100 esports players from Malaysia, all of whom had participated in at least one official tournament. The outcomes revealed that both the core and peripheral attributes of gaming significantly predicted stress, anxiety, and depression. However, IGD exhibited a significant predictive association only with stress. Notably, the study also detected the confounding effects of core and peripheral characteristics in the direct link between IGD and stress. These results imply that core and peripheral gaming traits should be interpreted as individual differences that amplify susceptibility to IGD and its associated psychological distress indicators. Moreover, the findings suggested that IGD might not be a prominent concern for esports players, potentially due to their training in performance management as athletes. The paper explores further implications stemming from these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalPsyCh Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 2024


  • confounding analysis
  • esports
  • internet gaming disorder
  • psychological distress

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