Long hours of video gaming hurts kids’ behavior
Violence in video games is often linked to aggressive behavior in children, but a new study found that the amount of time playing video games each day – not the content of the games themselves – can have a negative impact on behavior.
The 200 pupils in the study were asked about the duration of their game play and preferred games. Children who played video games for more than three hours per day were more likely to show signs of hyperactivity, be involved in fights and demonstrate a lack of interest in school.
“Video games are linked to attention problems,” says Dr. John Cabana, pediatrician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill. “The more mobile, the worse it is. Children can hide in a corner and play games. If they are playing games, they’re not interacting with others. Screen time should be limited to two hours per day for those over age two. We have to find the right balance with technology.”
Solitary game players performed well academically and exhibited socially appropriate behavior. However, children who played strategy and puzzle games – the ones that parents think accelerate cognitive growth and social development – did not achieve better grades than non-playing counterparts.
“We can see links between some types of games and children’s behavior, as well as time spent playing,” said, Dr. Andy Przybylski, the study’s lead author from Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute. “However, we cannot say that game play causes good or bad behavior.”
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