Do your kids prefer to play their favorite video games over and above all other activities? Is he or she also impulsive and not at ease in social situations?
If so, your child may be at risk for becoming a video game addict or pathological gamer, a study suggests.
New research in the February issue of Pediatrics helps highlight risk factors for video game addiction as well as some of the potential consequences of pathological gaming, including depression, anxiety, social phobia, and trouble in school.
"It is not just about how much time is spent playing video games," says study author Douglas A. Gentile, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University, Ames. "It is doing it in such a way that it damages your ability in many other areas, including social function, occupational function, relationships, and school performance."
In Gentile's two-year study of 3,000 school-aged children in Singapore, around 9% showed signs of video game addiction. This rate is similar to what has been reported in other countries.