Decade-long study dismisses link between games and behavioural problems

Ben Parfitt
Decade-long study dismisses link between games and behavioural problems

A British study of 11,000 children has failed to find any link between video game usage and attentional or emotional development issues.

A report entitled ‘Do television and electronic games predict children's psychosocial adjustment?' tracked the results of a millennial survey to track any possible relationship between screen time and behavioural problems in kids born between September 2000 and January 2002.

While it found some links between extended TV watching and behaviour in very small children, it failed to find any association at all with video gaming.

Watching TV for three hours or more at five years predicted a 0.13 point increase in conduct problems by seven years old, compared with watching for under an hour,” the report concluded.

But playing electronic games was not associated with conduct problems. No associations were found between either type of screen time and emotional symptoms, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems or prosocial behaviour.

There was no evidence of gender differences in the effect of screen time. Conclusions TV but not electronic games predicted a small increase in conduct problems. Screen time did not predict other aspects of psychosocial adjustment.”

A US study last week failed to find a connection between video game and real-world violence.

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