Getting your kids to focus on their academics can be a challenge, but according to a new study published in the journal Psychology and Popular Media Culture, it’s even harder to do so when they’re avid video game players. According to researchers, impulsive kids tend to play a lot of video games and playing games itself can lead to poor concentration.
Over three years, data from 3,034 children between the ages of eight and 17 from 12 different schools in Singapore were analyzed for the study. Questions such as how often they played video games and how they were faring in school were asked. The students were also made to rate themselves using statements such as "I often make things worse because I act without thinking" or "I concentrate easily." The survey was done in three intervals--each a year apart.
While the results revealed that playing video games does lead to poorer concentration, especially when the subject is difficult or boring, they also showed increased visual attention in the participants. Apparently, playing video games can improve a person’s ability to recognize and process visual information. However, researchers believe that the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to taking too much time playing them. Despite the added bonus of increased visual awareness, it does not make up for losing the ability to focus. Of course, kids will be kids. You don’t have to put a ban on video games, but it’s probably a good idea for you to set boundaries on your children's game time.
For more on kids and video games, check these out on FN:
- Obsession Alert: 5 Signs Your Child Could Be Addicted to Video Games
- Playing Video Games Can Boost Your Kids’ Creativity
- For the Win: 5 Video Game Guidelines for Parents and Kids
(Photo by Wunkai via Flickr Creative Commons)