Research finds "small to moderate" correlation between gaming more than 2 hours per day and troubles staying on task.
There's no definite cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but a list of suspects from the National Institute on Mental Health includes genes, brain injuries, and environmental factors like cigarette and alcohol use during pregnancy or lead exposure. Another environmental factor could be added to that list, as new research suggests a link between attention problems and playing video games.
According to a study titled "Television and Video Game Exposure and the Development of Attention Problems," published in the August issue of Pediatrics, television and video game exposure showed small to moderate correlations with concurrent attention problems. According to the research, the link was the same whether the study participants played games or watched TV.
Researchers studied 1,323 children (males and females in the third, fourth, and fifth grades) during a period of 13 months. They determined attention problems by collecting parents' accounts of their child's video game and television habits and teacher surveys, asking if the children had attention problems and to what degree.
They also used one-time surveys from 210 college students (male and female) who submitted self-documented forms containing their television-viewing habits, video game exposure, and attention troubles. Researchers found that children who viewed more than two hours each day were more likely to eclipse average attention problem rates, with the older age contingency showing similar results.
The paper's main author, Edward Swing, told GameSpot more research was needed to establish whether there is a causal relationship between game playing and attention problems. He also expressed interest in determining whether the type of content consumed would impact the correlation to attention problems. For example, Swing wants to find out if slower paced, educational, and/or nonviolent games and TV shows might be less commonly tied to attention problems.
The research was coauthored by Craig A. Anderson and David A. Walsh, two familiar voices with a history of decrying deleterious effects of games. Anderson's previous research has linked violent video games to heightened aggression, and Walsh founded the National Institute on Media and the Family, the now-defunct mass media monitoring advocacy group.
The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics is printed monthly in the United States and six other counties and also has an online version. It is a peer-reviewed journal that has been published since 1948.
Bad, biased science happens all the time. What saddens me is that some people at GameSpot apparently think it's a great idea to take a single such article and write a layman's article about it that doesn't mention any of the facts discrediting the point made in the header (original article sponsored by known anti-videogame advocates, main author admits article doesn't actually allow conclusions to be drawn) until the part the article with the least impact, and link to it with the text "Video games linked to ADHD?". (that's not a question; that's a statement)
Next, they're probably going to say that 3D TVs and 3D games are linked to bad eyesight. I second what MaverickHunter8 said.
It would seem some "specialists" are trying to link certain disorders to video games. Wonder if they did the same when movies first came out...honestly people stop the madness.
holy s**t, what are they gonna come up with next. they probably think people playing rpgs can cast magic, are evil and must be eradicated!
holy s**t, what are they gonna come up with next. they probably think people playing rpgs can cast magic, are evil and must be eradicated!
"According to the research, the link was the same whether the study participants played games or watched TV." So what you're saying is that it didn't matter what was on the screen just that the act of watching tv yielded the same results. Pointless then. More unresearched scare mongering for parents to pick up on.
When I was diagnosed with A.D.H.D. and informed my therapist at the time of my love for video games these were his exact words. "That's not surprising in the least since things are changing so much in the game it isn't always necessary to maintain concentration on a single thing for long periods of time, so there's a draw to people like you and me (he had A.D.D.) because it's able to keep our attention without having to exercise the same amount of focus as we would on menial tasks." In other words they are full of it those of us with attention disorders are drawn to video games, video games don't cause or even exacerbate it, in fact quite the opposite it helps control it. I love how they don't do any actual testing and simply go by the conjecture of parents and teachers. How can they even call themselves professionals. By the way I turn thirty this year and was diagnosed at 12, meaning my therapist understood the real reason for this "correlation" 18 years before these guys got it wrong and backwards.
and bishop-bashing is associated with people that play wow 24 hours, oh wait it is !! Back to the article - What a crock of s**t !
Considering people who already have attention problems are more likely to play more games and watch TV, this study is done poorly. ADHD is a neurological disorder you are born with, you can't just develop it later in life. It is also not a "health problem" like all these idiots claim it to be. People with ADHD can function just as well if not better than people who don't have it. I know because I have it myself and have talked with ADHD specialists who themselves have the disorder as well. People who don't have ADHD can't ever understand what the disorder is nor should they tell people "it is caused by ______."
this is such a bad study. small to moderate correlation doesnt mean jack s***. jimbo explains that clearly. ive taken introductory statistics and i know enough to know that there are many flaws with this study. it sounds like people are now making excuses just to create a negative image on gaming just because of their ignorance. by the way, there's no control group to base this study off of. how in the world are you supposed to make an accurate conclusions from that? ignorance is NOT bliss.
I honestly don't think many people would suffer from attention problems due to gaming. If anything, I'm actually more alert. Who would've thought?
Hey! I gave myself a thumbs down on accident. But someone else did too. Oh well, can't please everyone I suppose.
I have a PhD in Psychology, and anyone with any knowledge of stats will tell you that correlation does not imply causation. It just means they co-vary together, and this relationship can often be better explained by some third variable. And then they say it is a low to moderate correlation which makes it even less of a finding (e.g., weak relationship). However, with strong statements such as this in the title, that is lost. In a few minutes, CNN will have an article on how games are bad for kiddos. Even if this were real, did anyone consider that kids with ADHD are able to actually focus on something? That sounds positive to me. So ADHD kids can concentrate if you give them something interesting. Isn't that suggesting that maybe our educational system shouldn't keep trying the same memorization approach and actually give them something stimulating? Wouldn't that be enlightening? But no, we get "games give kids ADHD." Crap research. Crap agenda.
Why would they lump TV and games in together? Games involve an entirely different form of concentration than just watching TV, so I think they should do a separate study that focuses on people who only play games and don't watch TV (and vice versa for TV watchers) to get an accurate result.
Wasn't there a study done several years ago that showed video games help improve memory and hand-eye coordination? So are they now trying to tell us that gaming leads to ADHD when we're younger but helps prevent Dementia when we're older?
Humans like to blame something other than themselves for their problems. Especially parents. No one wants to blame a parent for a kid turning out bad. They want to find other outside sources to blame so that the parents can say it was out of their control. It all comes down to bad parenting.
If my gaming causes me to have a little attention problem so be it! At least I'm not out on the street buying drugs and really wasting my life trying to get my next fix!
This makes me wonder if they've looked at the problem the other way round. e.g. Are people who struggle with attention disorders more likely to be of a brain type that is more drawn to video games in 'excess', as opposed to the games *causing* the attention deficit.
It's true, but then again video games have helped me to evolve into a successful procrastinator, it's also helped me realize that people who need to be on task 100% of the time do so because most people are effing incompetent at everything they do.
This is going to sound bad, but I think it's just because video games are so awesome they pale everything else in comparison. Kind of joking, but not really. Wait..wait a second. So THAT'S Bobby's plan. Release so many rehashes that nobody wants to play video games anymore and thus, the world is saved!! I bet he can hear the children calling out to him now, "We love you Bobby!" *Cue a pair of boys briefs in the face from the crowd*
I can see it, honestly. My attention span gets worse and worse as the years go by and my gaming continues. I have gotten to the point that i listen to music, play games, and watch tv all at once just to not be bored.
sounds like these Jack Thompson nutjobs just want to give birth to a Media Prohibition to get their names in the paper.
so can I sue Nintendo or not because I believe I could have been a great _______. If I would have put down that NES controller when I younger. I think if Nintendo sends me a check for 149.99 plus 59.99 everything will be back on track.
How is it a "study" when there are many variables and all the info is collected from recollection of witnesses or a questionnaire? Heck, Mythbusters experiments are more scientific than that! ADHD is just one of those "disorders" that doctors will always use and abuse to explain people who are eccentric.
Walsh and Anderson authored the paper? I now have absolutely no trust in any associated results. Another "Jack Thompson" style advocate and a video game/general media "Big Brother" organization head. Yeah, that'll be an impartial study.
Isn't the problem more along the lines that Games are great at keeping your attention while having facts pounded into your head by some teacher bored of teaching for so long or scared of losing their job so they stick to that crappy learning material the whole time?
Studies are great, especially how a few months later they contradict themselves and then there's no end because there is always more research needed. You know you're in for it when you hear somebody say "I heard from this study..". In all fairness what this study should say is too much of one thing, is a bad thing. Be that watching tv, internet, gaming or even reading books. Otherwise nothing else gets done, not to mention typically you look forward to it less because you spend all of your free time doing it.
why exactly does anyone even bother with these joke studies anyway? their so far have been proven useless and pointless. especially the one that said the wii's failure rate was 10%. ha yeah maybe if you do nothing but pirate games it is :P
@Donteatcream Ah exactly what I was going to say, but you beat me to it. I really wish articles like this would include that information because believe it or not, most people do not know it. As a psychologist who as worked in video game research, I've actually met Walsh before. He was kind of a prick because my research did not support his claims, and actually found positive effects of games. It's kind of ironic that only the negative stuff tends to find it's way on the news, even on a gaming site that should be pro-games.
In my experience, being addicted to anything can get you distracted when you can't wait to get back to it.
Ahh, that's the problem with these studies. Correlation is not causation. Maybe videogames lead to attention problems, or maybe having attention problems lead to catharsis via videogames. Or hell, maybe an unknown third variable - whether or not you eat cheese- leads to both these things. We simply won't know without further evidence.
So what makes playing Video Games so different from TV and Movies or any other form of media? You would think that the interactivity and input required to play games would make you pay more attention than just sitting and watching a TV show. You may wonder why kids have so many problems, well sit down and watch for one day only the "kids" shows and they are very demented, many of the shows only embrace stereotypes. The TV show Total Drama Island is garbage and teaches kids to judge other people, parents these days just have no idea...
Well duh! After people figure out that video games are the best, why focus on other stuff that is so boring in comparison? :P
@ armydominican69 Well you serve a point that I both agree and disagree with. In fact, I disagree with this study altogether. I don't believe most gamers have attention problems; I think our generation's brains have been rewired to be more interactive than what our parents grew up doing and our doing now. When we play video games, we have direct control over what's going on in front of us, and we want that same set of controls when it comes to interacting on the outside with anything else. The problem with school is that it teaches us to learn the way our parents did: do read, write, and just altogether, be passive in our nature to study and understand. We are hedonists by nature, and that may be why video games are such a problem, but if society can change its way of teaching people how they can learn, much like our parents and the working generation are starting to realize, we won't need to have these unnecessary studies about attention spans. If you want society to be better, why not just adapt to what society is doing rather than conform to a simplicity of the ages before? Then again, this might be over everyone's head, lol.
I agree with StewieZim101 100%!!! Ur not gonna sit down & play games 4 2hrs. if u cant pay attention 2 wut ur doing. Im sorry but this article is BS!
I published an experimental study proving that videogames make you fat. Go out and get some exercise, you fat porkers.
Again society tries to say games are bad for you. all they did was test it on 1500 people and kids. Thats not even a percent of the human population in the united states, let alone the world.
That's bull. If anything, wouldn't people who have attention problems not be able to sit still and play games?
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