Kids are hooked on screens, no doubt about it, with some spending hours on end playing video games–some 41% of boys and 21% of girls, and that prompted Oxford University to study the effects. Among the findings:
- Spending up to three hours a day has no effect, good or bad;
- Beyond the three-hour threshold, look for less happiness, along with hyperactivity, attention problems, and peer relations issues.
Of note, however: Kids who play less than one hour a day gaming—or not at all—are more social and are more satisfied with life, and all this, of course, begs the question: What do parents say about video gaming?
Researchers at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital asked that very question and found that:
- 86% of the parents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that their kids spend too much time gaming.
- Those whose kids play every day said it’s for at least 3 hours, and 78% believe that’s about the same or less than other teens.
- 71% believe that video gaming may have a positive effect on their teens but also said that it “sometimes” or “frequently” gets in the way of family activities.
- 46% think it impacts sleep time.
- About 33% said it cuts down on homework time and/or time with non-gaming friends.
- About 31% said it eats into time for extracurricular activities.
- 42% said it negatively affects their kids’ moods vs. 32% of those with kids who play less often.
- 54% have tried to set gaming time limits, with 44% trying to restrict games that graphically depict violence.
- 75% encourage other activities.
- 23% reward less time spent gaming.
- 14% have gone so far as to hide the equipment.