Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 23 (ANI): Contrary to the popular belief that video games aren't good for children, a study claimed that playing these games might not be linked to reduced social development in boys.
The study was published in the journal 'Child Development'.
"Our study may mitigate some concerns about the adverse effects of gaming on children's development. It might not be gaming itself that warrants our attention, but the reasons some children and adolescents spend a lot of their spare time playing the games," said Beate Wold Hygen, lead author of the study.
The study incorporated 873 youth from a varying socioeconomic background. Children who were aged 10 and 12, and parents (whose children were 6 and 8) tracked the time that the kids spent playing video games on tablets, PCs, phones and gaming consoles.
Their teachers were also made to fill questionnaires on the children's social competence, including measures of cooperation, assertion, and self-control.
The youth also reported the time they spent with their friends to the researchers. For the study, certain factors taken into account were gender, socioeconomic status, BMI (higher BMI in girls is associated with more gaming and youth with high BMI tend to have more problems with social competence), and amount of time spent with friends.
The findings from the study suggested that social development in boys wasn't affected by the time they spent on video games. Girls, on the other hand, may be more socially isolated and come across fewer opportunities to practice social skills.
But for girls, who spent more time playing video games at the age of 10 developed weaker social skills two years later than girls who spent less time on games.
Another finding highlighted that the children who were less active socially at the age of 8-10 were more prone to playing video games at the age of 10-12.
Co-author, Lars Wichstrom said, "It might be that poor social competence drives youth's tendency to play video games for extensive periods of.""That is, youth who struggle socially might be more inclined to play games to fulfill their need to belong and their desire for mastery because gaming is easily accessible and may be less complicated for them than face-to-face interactions," said Wichstrom. (ANI)