The study reports that 75 percent of spouses of sword-carrying, avatar-loving gamers wish they would put less effort into their guilds and more effort into their marriage.
The researchers, led by graduate student Michelle Ahlstrom, and recreation management professor Neil Lundberg, studied 349 couples to learn how online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft, affect marital satisfaction for both gamers and their spouses. And in some cases, gaming even increased satisfaction.
"It's common knowledge that many couples experience challenges around gaming," Lundberg said. "Particularly when husbands are heavy gamers, it clearly has a negative impact on their marriages."
What the researchers found confirms popular opinion, with some interesting new details. The study revealed it's not the time spent playing games that caused dissatisfaction, but rather the resulting arguments or disrupted bedtime routines. These issues can cause problems such as poorer marital adjustment, less time spent together in shared activities and less serious conversation, the study reports.
"It's not the hours that make a difference," Lundberg said. "It's really what it does to the relationship-- whether or not it creates conflict and quarreling over the game."
The study showed that gaming is dominated by men, but there is a contingent of women gamers who play with their spouses.
"We didn't realize that there was a whole group of couples who game together," Lundberg said. "In those gaming couples where the marital satisfaction was low, the same issues existed. For example, if they argued about gaming and bedtime rituals were interrupted, even though they gamed together, they still had lower marital satisfaction scores."
However, the study found that for couples in which both spouses play, 76 percent said that gaming has a positive effect on their marital relationship. Interestingly, for those who do game together, interacting with each other's avatars--their online persona—leads to higher marital satisfaction. However, both must be satisfied with their mutual participation, especially the individual who plays less.
"Not all video games are bad," said Ahlstrom, the graduate student. "Some are fun leisure pursuits that when played together may strengthen your relationships with others. With any type of gaming, consider the content of the game. Consider what you are doing in the game, how much time it is taking, how it is affecting you, your schooling, work, sleep, body and especially how it is affecting your spouse and marital relationship."
The researchers believe the problem could be more severe than the study shows because they found many dedicated gamers were not willing to participate in the study. The average age of the respondents to their nationwide survey was 33, and the average marriage length was 7 years. Of those couples in which only one spouse gamed, 84 percent of the players were the husbands. Of those couples where both gamed, 73 percent of those who gamed more were husbands.
"This study really does verify that gaming has an effect on marital satisfaction," Lundberg said. "It's not just a random occurrence that a few couples are dealing with. Based on the large number of married gamers – 36 percent of multi-player online role-playing gamers report being married-- we can assume this is a widespread issue."
Ahlstrom and Lundberg were joined by coauthors Ramon Zabriskie, BYU professor of recreational management and youth leadership; Dennis Eggett, associate research professor of statistics; and Gordon B. Lindsay, professor of health sciences.
Joe Hadfield | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy