Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Kristen Newberry, Psy.D

Second Advisor

Bradley Olson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jackson Newberry, Psy.D.


Video games have been examined for their effects on cognition, learning, health, and physiological arousal, yet research on social dynamics within video gaming is limited. Studies have documented the presence of derogation, racism, and discrimination in this anonymous medium. However, gamers‟ firsthand experiences are typically examined qualitatively. Thus, this study aimed to establish a quantitative baseline for the frequency of derogatory, racist, and discriminatory speech (DRDS) in gaming. DRDS frequency, sexual harassment, and hate speech measures were administered to 150 individuals from online forums and social media groups. Descriptive and inferential analyses were used to gauge which factors affected DRDS rates. Sex, intergroup and fast-paced game types, time played with others, and identity portrayal showed positive correlations with DRDS. Results indicate an array of complex social and developmental factors contribute to experiencing, perceiving, and personally using DRDS. Implications include psychosocial health impacts similar to everyday harassment, with women being at a higher risk and age as a contributing factor.