Roll Perception: Investigating the Association Between TTRPGs and Mental Health in Adults

Kiela L Hinson, Tennessee State University


In recent years, adults experienced a decline in mental health originating from day-to-day stressors and amplified by major events like the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice unrest, and economic challenges. It is worthwhile to explore play, specifically Table-Top Role-Playing Games (TTRPGs), as a method to combat and cope with mental health decline. Research shows that there is a relationship between playing TTRPGs, the development of skills, and improved well-being. There is little research to validate or measure the benefits of playing TTRPGs recreationally or therapeutically in adult populations. This study aimed to contribute to existing research by exploring the association between mental health and TTRPGs by examining mental health status between adults who engage in TTRPGs and adults who don’t. This study also examined whether recalling TTRPG activities was associated with higher mental health status scores and explored if there is a correlation between time spent playing TTRPGs and mental health. A Qualtrics survey was developed and distributed to obtain demographic data and to assess mental health status using the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form between two different groups before and after an autobiographical recall procedure. Analyses were conducted using independent and paired samples t-tests and correlation analysis. Analyses showed a difference in social and emotional well-being between the groups. Findings also indicated that mental health status scores significantly improved after the TTRPG group completed the recall procedure. Finally, a weak positive correlation was discovered between time spent playing TTRPGs and mental health status.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Clinical psychology|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Kiela L Hinson, "Roll Perception: Investigating the Association Between TTRPGs and Mental Health in Adults" (2023). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI30575130.