Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey.
Purpose: The purpose of this research was to investigate the pattern of relationship between attachment styles, gaming addiction and empathy among adolescents.
Research Methods: The correlational survey method was used herein. In order to explain the pattern of relationship between the variables, a theoretical model based on the literature was recommended, which was tested by the Structural Equality Modeling (SEM). The sample of the research consisted of 338 middle school and high school students studying in Istanbul Umraniye district. 117 of the students (52.5%) were female while 160 thereof (47.5%) were male. Student ages ranged between 10 and 17, and their age mean was 13. The data was collected by the Attachment Styles Scale, Gaming Addiction Scale and Empathetic Tendency Scale.
Findings: According the result of the Analysis, secure addiction significantly predicted gaming addiction in a negative way while it significantly predicted empathetic tendency in a positive way. Avoidant addiction significantly predicted gaming addiction in a positive way and empathetic tendency in a negative way. Anxious-ambivalent addiction, on the other hand, only predicted gaming addiction, in a positive way and significantly, and gaming addiction significantly predicted empathetic tendency in a negative way.
Implications for Research and Practice: The relationship between the attachment styles and gaming addiction and empathetic tendency can be tested on different samples. Practitioners working in the field can work more effectively in coping with gaming addiction by taking the attachment styles and empathetic tendencies into consideration. The psycho-educational programs aimed to mitigate the gaming addiction can include modules to raise awareness about the attachment styles and increase the empathetic tendency.
Keywords: Gaming addiction, attachment styles, empathy, adolescence.