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Video games may have a positive impact on kids: Research

Scientists have found that playing video games is associated with better intellectual functioning and high overall school competence

tech Updated: Mar 09, 2016 17:51 IST
Gaming

Scientists have found that playing video games is associated with better intellectual functioning and high overall school competence(Getty Images)

Playing video games may have positive effects on young children as it may improve their mental health as well as cognitive and social skills, researchers say.

Scientists from Columbia University in the US and Paris Descartes University found that high game usage is associated with better intellectual functioning and high overall school competence.

After adjusting for child age, gender, and number of children, 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.

There were no significant associations with any child self-reported or mother- or teacher-reported mental health problems. 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.

Results were based on data from the School Children Mental Health Europe project for children ages 6-11. Parents and teachers assessed their child’s mental health in a questionnaire and the children themselves responded to questions through an interactive tool. Teachers evaluated academic success.

Factors associated with time spent playing video games included being a boy, being older, and belonging to a medium size family. Having a less educated or single mother decreased time spent playing video games.

“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,” said Katherine M Keyes from Columbia University.

The findings were published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.