Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

2019

Thesis Director

Russell E. Gruber

Thesis Committee Member

Wesley D. Allan

Thesis Committee Member

John H. Mace

Abstract

Pokémon GO is a new type of game that emphasizes physical activity and social interaction. In the literature, both physical activity and social interactions have been shown to be positively correlated with mental health. Much research has been conducted on the effects of gaming on mental health, but to date no research has been done on the possible correlations of the game Pokémon GO and mental health. The present study was conducted to determine whether Pokémon GO players scored significantly lower than a control group of traditional garners on scales of depression, anxiety, and pathological gaming, and if they reported more positive coping styles. Results indicated that Pokémon GO players did not score significantly lower on depression, anxiety, and pathological gaming inventories, but they did have trends toward better coping skills. Additionally, 39.6% of Pokémon GO players reported that they felt their mental health is either better or much better since playing the game, and 50.5% reported that they felt their physical health is either better or much better. While causation was not determined, the present study could open the door to discovering new coping interventions.

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