Students who spend more time playing video games are likely to have more attention problems later on, and students who have attention disorders are likely to play more video games, according to a study by researchers from the United States and Singapore.
Researchers from Iowa State University, the Institute of Mental Health in Singapore, and the National Institute of Education in Singapore analyzed data on 3,034 Singaporean children, ages 8 to 17, who were surveyed annually over three years about their video game use and their attention and impulsivity. The attention-related questions were drawn from a standardized scale for rating symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The researchers also looked at students’ school performance and demographic factors, such as gender and family-income level. They concluded that attention problems were more associated with time spent playing video games than with demographic factors or the degree to which the games contained violent content.
The report was published in January in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture.
A version of this article appeared in the March 08, 2012 edition of Education Week as Video Game Effects