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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 172-176

Impact of lockdown following COVID-19 on the gaming behavior of college students


1 Additional Professor, Behavioral Addictions Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Senior Resident Doctor, Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Associate Professor, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Additional Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Yatan Pal Singh Balhara
Department of Psychiatry, National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, Behavioral Addictions Clinic, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_465_20

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Background: The uncertainty about the impact of the lockdown in wake of COVID-19 on their future academic and carrier prospects, besides other concerns; makes college students, particularly vulnerable to stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gaming has been recognized as a coping mechanism against stress in the previously published literature. Objectives: The current study aimed to assess the gaming behavior of college students during the lockdown following COVID-19. Methods: Data were collected from a cohort of students that constituted the sampling frame of an ongoing project. A total of 393 college students were enrolled. All the eligible students were subsequently contacted through E-mail and WhatsApp messenger and invited to share the details. Results: About half (50.8%) of the participants reported that their gaming behavior had increased, whereas 14.6% reported a decrease in their gaming during the lockdown period. In binary logistic regression analysis, hours of gaming per day (odds ratio [OR] 1.75 [1.29–2.36]), increase in gaming due to examination related stress (OR 4.96 [1.12–21.98]), and belief that gaming helps managing stress (OR 4.27 [1.65–11.04]), were found to be independently associated with gaming behavior during lockdown period.Conclusion: In the lockdown period following COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in gaming behavior was associated with examination-related stress and the belief that gaming helps combat stress. These observations highlight the need to focus on the coping style of the students to ascertain the likelihood of them engaging in gaming behavior as a coping mechanism against stress.


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