Video Games Reduce Academic Performance - Scotty Lauren - PCGameTrek.Com

A study finds that children spend less time in academic activities if they have video game systems at home
June 10, 2010 - PRLog -- FRIDAY, June 11 New research indicates that young children who have a video game system are not doing so well academically as their peers who do not play.
By PC Game Trek Magazine 2010 UK

Robert Weis, author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Denison University in Ohio, said: "We can never say with absolute certainty that it is for playing video games that children have delays or deficits in performance in reading and writing, but ... we can be fairly sure that having the games and spend time using them because academic delays.

Another expert agreed.

"It's a zero sum. Physically can not pass over some time and doing certain activities, including more time spent using video games, the more likely the lack of progress in academic achievement," said Alan Delamater, director of psychology Clinical Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami.

In the study, published online in the April issue of Psychological Science, involved 64 children between six and nine years old whose families have not had a video game system but were planning to buy one.

All children were tested in reading, writing and mathematics at baseline and then received a video game system games plus three or four months immediately after it was completed to the study.

The study found that children who received and began using video games immediately spent less time doing homework and other academic activities after school than children who did not have video game systems.

Neither did so well on tests of reading and writing follow-up, although there was no difference between groups on tests of mathematics.

There were no reports on behavioral changes and the tests were within normal ranges, he noted Delamater.

The researchers could not say for sure why differences arose in reading and writing, but not in mathematics, although they have some ideas.

"These kids probably will not participate in many after school activities related to mathematics," said Weis. "Imagine a child to go home and read a story or ask your parents to do, but you can not really expect a first grader to do math problems for fun. There is a lot of movement here."

According to investigators, the fact that video games can reduce study time seems an obvious explanation, although there may be others.

"Video games may affect a child's brain, especially executive function, and could compromise their ability to obtain good results in certain academic activities," said Weis. In children, executive function refers to things like the ability to manage time and be able to track more than one thing at a time.

However, according Delamater, "parents should limit the exposure of these children to video games."

At least, they should look for a balanced, Weis noted.

"I tell students that we should follow the golden peak of Aristotle to seek moderation in everything we do," he said. "That means moderation in academic activities after school like homework and restraint in the use of video games and other recreational activities."


The Kaiser Family Foundation has more about the use of video games.

(SOURCES: Robert Weis, Ph.D., an associate professor, psychology, Denison University, Granville, Ohio; Alan Delamater, Ph.D., director, clinical psychology, Mailman Center for Child Development, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami Psychological Science June 2010

By Scotty Lauren - PCGameTrek.Com

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