Time spent playing video games may have positive effects on young children

Posted on March 10, 2016

Photo: flickr

Video games are a favorite activity of children, yet its affect on their health is often perceived to be negative. A study by researchers at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and colleagues at Paris Descartes University assessed the association between the amount of time spent playing video games and children's mental health and cognitive and social skills, and found that playing video games may have positive effects on young children.

After adjusting for child age, gender, and number of children, the researchers found that high video game usage was associated with a 1.75 times the odds of high intellectual functioning and 1.88 times the odds of high overall school competence. The researchers also found that more video game playing was associated with less relationship problems with their peers. Based on parent reporting, one in five children played video games more than 5 hours per week.

"Video game playing is often a collaborative leisure time activity for school-aged children. These results indicate that children who frequently play video games may be socially cohesive with peers and integrated into the school community. We caution against over interpretation, however, as setting limits on screen usage remains and important component of parental responsibility as an overall strategy for student success," said Katherine M. Keyes, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health.


Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Parenting

Source material from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health


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