Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Everett L. Worthington, Jr.


Video games provide a competitive, goal-oriented environment. They involve individuals who often seek intentionally to frustrate their opponents’ goals. The gaming community is made up of players who vary in their interpersonal style, learning histories, and skill levels. In this rich and dynamic environment, stress is a common experience. Given the prevalence of gameplay in the population and the frequency of gameplay among gamers, it is important to examine coping responses to stressors, particularly maladaptive ones. The present research entails three studies. In Study 1, I use exploratory factor analyses to develop three scales purported to measure maladaptive coping strategies in response to frustration in multiplayer video games: aggression (CIV-A), catharsis (CIV-C), and self-condemnation (CIV-S). In Study 2, I provide further evidence of the single factor structure identified in Study 1 using confirmatory factor analyses. I additionally provide evidence that the three CIV scales can be used as a single, three-factor measure (CIV-III). Moreover, I conduct a path analysis to provide initial evidence of the scale’s construct validity, wherein I provide evidence that measures of personality (anger and arousal) predisposition predict CIV-III subscale scores. Finally, in Study 3, I examine patterns of these coping styles by running a Latent Profile Analysis. I found evidence for four maladaptive coping profiles: low maladaptive coping, external maladaptive coping, internal maladaptive coping, and low maladaptive coping. Finally, I provide evidence that measures of personality and motivations for video gaming can predict coping profile membership.


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