Long hours of video gaming hurts kids’ behavior

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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Comments

5 Comments

  1. Very surprising info. I never would have thought it was the amount of time spent playing, as opposed to the content, which leads to aggression. This makes me worry about all the teens who spend half their days in front of the screen.

  2. So….the summary and title of this article is directly opposed to what the actual researcher said by this article’s own admission:

    “‘We can see links between some types of games and children’s behavior, as well as time spent playing…However, we cannot say that game play causes good or bad behavior.'”

    I’m sorry Erica, I understand that it is fashionable to attack video games for child behavior, but I expect better analysis and honest reporting from Advocate Health News. Click-bait headlines are reducing the integrity of this site. Correlation does not equate causation, which is what the researcher stated, and your article should reflect that.

  3. Base on this quote below from the article, I should not allow my children to read books, either. Substitute “playing games” with “reading books” and see if the argument holds.

    “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”

    The analysis presented in this article is woefully lacking. It’s an appropriate topic so let’s put some more effort into it next time.

    • I’m glad that it wasn’t just me. Even the title of the original research paper is dramatically different than how this article portrays the findings – “How the Quantity and Quality of Electronic Gaming Relates to Adolescents’ Academic Engagement and Psychosocial Adjustment.”

      Below is the abstract for Dr. Andy Przybylski’s research:
      “Electronic gaming contexts are now a dominant entertainment medium for young people in the developed and developing world (Lenhart et al., 2008), yet little is known about how distinct doses of gaming exposure may influence adolescents. This research focused on the effects of quantity of play, the amount of time devoted to gaming on a typical day, and quality of play, the kinds of games regularly played, as predictors on teachers’ evaluations of young peoples’ academic engagement and psychosocial functioning. Results derived from a school-based sample of 217 young people indicated that, compared with those who did not play, adolescents who engaged in low levels of gaming,3 hr a day. Further, the teachers of young people who tended toward playing mainly single-player games reported that these students showed lower levels of hyperactivity and conduct problems, fewer peer and emotional difficulties, as well as higher levels of active academic engagement. Teachers of young people who played cooperative and competitive online games rated these students as more emotionally stable and had better relationships with classmates, a pattern of results that remained in evidence controlling for variance linked to participant sex. Results are discussed in light of a developing and increasingly nuanced literature focused on determining the ways and the extent to which electronic gaming may influence young people.”

      Now that reads like an entirely different paper than the one described in the Advocate Health News article. I guess that is what happens when an author reports on a report of research, rather than the actual research itself. Jim, next time link to the actual study, not a website talking about a study. It’s intellectually lazy.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.