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New Pediatrics study identifies the risks, consequences of video game addiction
Date:1/19/2011

amers," said Gentile, who published the first national American study on pathological video game addiction in youths in the May 2009 journal Psychological Science. "And we define that as damage to actual functioning -- their school, social, family, occupational, psychological functioning, etc. To be considered pathological, gamers must be damaging multiple areas of their lives."

"This study is important because we didn't know until this research whether some types of children are at greater risk, how long the problem lasts, or whether pathological gaming was a separate problem or simply a symptom of some other problem -- such as depression," said Angeline Khoo, associate professor of psychological studies at the National Institute of Education in Singapore and principal investigator of the overall project.

The researchers gathered data from students attending 12 Singapore schools, including five boys' schools. The subjects were surveyed annually on their video game play and behavior between 2007 and 2009. Surveys were conducted in classrooms by teachers who had been trained by the research team. The study had a 99 percent response rate.

Using the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" as a guide to define the addictive condition, the researchers found between 7.6 and 9.9 percent of the student sample could be defined as pathological gamers over the two-year period. Eighty-four percent of those subjects who were first classified as pathological gamers were found to still be classified that way two years later. Yet in that same two-year window, only one percent of the sample became new pathological gamers.

Through their analyses, the researchers conclude that video game addiction is a serious behavioral problem that is separate from other afflictions.

"Once they become addicted, pathological gamers were more likely to become depressed, have increased social phobias,
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Contact: Mike Ferlazzo
ferlazzo@iastate.edu
515-294-8986
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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