Television viewing has been associated with attention problems in children.
And now, a new study, “Television and Video Game Exposure and the Development of Attention Problems,” published in the August print issue of Pediatrics (published online July 5), found a similar effect for video games.
Researchers assessed 1,323 children in third, fourth and fifth grades over 13 months, using reports from the parents and children about their video game and television habits, as well as teacher reports of attention problems.
Another group of 210 college students provided self-reports of television habits, video game exposure and attention problems.
Researchers found children who exceeded the 2 hours per day of screen time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics were 1.5 to 2 times more likely to be above average in attention problems.
And it’s not just an issue for kids. Young adults showed a similar association, suggesting that early video game exposure may have lasting consequences.