Literature established a correlation between heavy exposure with video games (VGs) and withdrawal, loneliness, worse social skills, and social phobia. The present study hypothesizes that children with social phobia are more vulnerable to higher exposure in video gaming. Moreover, it hypothesizes that children with social phobia and higher exposure with VGs will be more at risk of developing negative outcomes such as externalizing problems. A survey measuring VG use habits, social phobia, and clinical outcomes was administered to 359 children and adolescents attending primary, secondary, and high schools in Northern Italy (aged 6–18 years old; M = 12.81, standard deviation (SD) = 3.16). Results show that participants with both social phobia and higher exposure in video gaming habits display worse developmental outcomes. Results are discussed in the light of the existing literature.
- Social phobia
- video games