Children and teenagers who are addicted to playing video games may develop psychological disorders such as depression, a study has revealed.
Research shows that kids who are more likely to become hooked on video games are those who spend hours locked in their rooms playing them and have trouble socialising with other people.
This lack of ‘fitting in’ is then likely to make the child become depressed, anxious or have a social phobia.
The results, which were published in Pediatrics, also point out that their school performance and grades will suffer.
Douglas A. Gentile, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University in America, said: “What we’ve known from other studies is that video gaming addiction looks similar to other addictions. But what wasn’t clear was what comes before what.
“But we found that in kids who started gaming pathologically, depression and anxiety got worse. And, when they stopped gaming, the depression lifted. It may be that these disorders [co-exist], but games seem to make the problem worse.”
The study included 3,034 children and teens from Singapore, between 2007-2009 of whom the children came from six primary schools and six secondary schools; almost 2,200 of the participants were male.
83% of the volunteers reported playing video games sometimes, and 10% said they had played video games in the past.
The average time spent playing video games was around 20.5 to 22.5 hours a week.
In the study about 9% of the children surveyed qualified as being pathological video gamers i.e. addicted.
The research shows that concepts to which contribute to the child being ‘addictive’ are playing video games for more than 30 hours a week, a lack in social skills and less-than-average compassion.
The scientists suggest no more than two hours a day, 19 hours a week.
What do you think about kids playing interactive video?