This study examines whether the single or shared leisure activity of video gaming or a report of it as a problem is negatively related to couple attachment behaviors (accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement). The model suggests that individual frequency of violent video game use, individual frequency of nonviolent video game use, and couple video game use frequency predict negative couple attachment behaviors. In addition, video game playing that is perceived as a problem in the relationship serves as a mediator variable in the model. Data were collected using the Relationship Evaluation questionnaire (RELATE). The sample includes 2,112 couples who reported seriously dating, engagement, or marriage. The measures include assessing couple attachment behaviors and questions assessing video game use rates. Results indicated that male's violent video game use predicted the female's attachment behaviors, while the female's nonviolent video game use predicted the male's attachment behaviors. The male's violent video game use and the female's nonviolent video game use predicted his/her perception and their partner's perception that video games were a problem in the relationship, and their perception predicted less attachment behaviors, which was a fully mediated relationship for both. The female's view that video games were a problem negatively predicted both her and her partner's attachment behaviors, while the male's view only predicted his attachment behaviors. Future research directions and clinical implications for couples are discussed.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Family Life; Marriage and Family Therapy



Date Submitted


Document Type





video game use, couple relationship, attachment behaviors