The purpose of this study was to test whether video game use is associated with more problems with spending time together among married couples, whether problems with time together are associated with relationship quality, and whether attachment behaviors can moderate the association between time together as a problem and relationship quality. Previous studies have found a negative association between excessive video game use and couple relationship outcomes. Excessive video game use may negatively impact relationships by taking away from time spent on shared leisure and relationship maintenance activities. The Double ABCx model provided a theoretical framework for understanding how attachment behaviors such as accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement may act as protective factors that buffer the stress created by video game use and perceiving time together as a problem on couple relationships. A sample of 415 married couples who took the Relationship Evaluation Questionnaire between 2011 and 2013 and indicated that one or both partners played video games was used. Results indicated that there was a negative indirect effect of women's sports and music game use on women's relationship quality via women's reports of time together as a problem in the relationship. There was also a positive indirect effect of women's exercise game use on relationship quality. There was also a negative association between men's and women's reports of time together as a problem on own relationship quality. Men's attachment behaviors moderated the association between women's reports of time together as a problem and women's relationship quality. Clinical implications include more thoroughly assessing why video game use may be a problem in the relationship and fostering healthy attachment behaviors.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





attachment behaviors, couple relationships, media, relationship quality, time together, video games