Some studies suggest that video gaming can improve vision and enhance information processing abilities. But that may be total nonsense, according to a study that examined the short-term effects of video-game ownership on academic development in young boys.
Families with boys between the ages of 6 to 9 were recruited for the study in Psychological Science. The families did not own video-game systems, but the parents had been considering buying one for their kids. The children completed intelligence tests as well as reading and writing assessments. In addition, the boys' parents and teachers filled out questionnaires relating to their behavior at home and at school.
Half of the families were selected to receive a video-game system (along with three, age-appropriate video games) immediately, while the remaining families were promised a video-game system four months later, at the end of the experiment. Over the course of the four months, the parents recorded their children's activities from the end of the school day until bedtime. At the four-month time point, the children repeated the reading and writing assessments and parents and teachers again completed the behavioral questionnaires.
Results showed that the boys who received the video-game system immediately spent more time playing video games and less time engaged in after-school academic activities than boys who received the video-game system at the end of the experiment.
Furthermore, the boys who received the video-game system at the beginning of the study had significantly lower reading and writing scores four months later compared with the boys receiving the video-game system later on. Although there were no differences in parent-reported behavioral problems between the two groups of kids, the boys who received the video-game system immediately had greater teacher-reported learning problems.
Further analysis revealed that the time spent playing video games may link the relationship between owning a video-game system and reading and writing scores. These findings suggest that video games may be displacing after-school academic activities and may impede reading and writing development in young boys.
The authors note that when children have problems with language at this young age, they tend to have a tougher time acquiring advanced reading and writing skills later on. They conclude, "Altogether, our findings suggest that video-game ownership may impair academic achievement for some boys in a manner that has real-world significance."
Citation: Weis et al., 'Effects of Video-Game Ownership on Young Boys' Academic and Behavioral Functioning: A Randomized, Controlled Study', Psychological Science, 2010; doi: 10.1177/0956797610362670
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Anomaly! Book Of The Week At Times Higher Education
- Sitting Linked To Premature Aging - And Hopefully Skepticism
- Random Thoughts Of A Physicist In Honeymoon
- It's Been Another Record Year For Agriculture - When Do Climate Change Forecasts Come True?
- Climate Change Made The Sahara Green - Then Took It Away Again
- How Wind Turbines Work - A Legal Perspective
- How Viruses Leave Messages For Descendants On How To 'Infect'
- "I don't know why my comment's formatting was lost in the transmission, so that it is now one big..."
- "“If you don't use probabilities then how else do you do it? At any rate that's not a criticism..."
- "Tomasso, Congratulations, may you enjoy a long and happy life together with Kalliopi! Best regards..."
- "Found another one : http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/545975/end-of-the-world-Gods-vengeance..."
- "Thanks :). Actually there are so many fake doomsday red top tabloid stories that I tend to wait..."
- Nexium: The Dark Side Of Pharma
- ABCD: Obesity Has A New Name, Will It Stop The Epidemic?
- President George H. W. Bush in ICU, Wife Barbara in Same Hospital
- McKesson Fined $150 Million; Contributed to Opioid Crisis
- And Then There Were Three: A New Trivalent Herpes Vaccine Enters The Scene
- McKesson Fined $150 Million as they contribute to opioid crisis - Too Big to Punish