Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Edward Neukrug

Committee Member

Shana Pribesh

Committee Member

Jill Krahwinkel


This dissertation examined the relationships among personality traits, motivation for play, and Internet gaming disorder in a diverse sample of Internet gamers, using a group correlational design and path analysis. The researcher sampled participants who self-identify as Internet gamers by posting invitations to participate in the study on Internet forums, as well as by accessing the gaming population at Pokémon Go hotspots. The study used valid and reliable instruments: The Ten-Item Internet Gaming Disorder Test (IGD-10), the abbreviated form of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-10), and the Motivation to Play Online Games Questionnaire (MPOGQ). Data analysis included descriptive statistics related to population demographics and prevalence rates, and multiple regression based on proposed causal relationships in a path analysis model. Prevalence analysis indicated that 4.2% of the population sampled met IGD criteria, with higher prevalence rates among males, students, and people under age 30, indicating potential risk factors for IGD. Findings showed that significant predictors of IGD amongst the variables in the model include male gender, neurotic and introverted personality traits, and motivation related to achievement, socialization, and immersion. A critical analysis of frequency of IGD criteria in the DSM-5 provided further implications for screening and assessment, with specific implications for female and non-White gamers. Limitations related to self-report data and generalizability, as well as recommendations for future research, are discussed.