A study published today in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence maintains that video games - including the non-violent kind - are linked to a variety of negative findings among college students.
According to the Deseret News, the study, conducted by a team of faculty and students at Utah's Brigham Young University, concludes that:
- the more the students play video games, the worse their relationships are with friends and parents (although this effect is modest)
- those who play video games daily smoke pot twice as much as other players and three times more than those who never play
- young women who play often have lower self-esteem
BYU prof Laura Walker, the lead author of the study, told the newspaper:
Everything we found associated with video games came out negative... [But] I don't want parents to go out and yank all video games. It's like TV. We have to choose what's good and bad and practice moderation.
Student Alex Jensen, who participated in the research project, added:
I assumed violent video games would be related to lower relationship quality with friends and family. I didn't expect regular video games — nonviolent video game use — would be correlated to lower relationship quality...
An abstract posted on the website of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence offers some information on the methodology of the BYU study:
Participants included 813 undergraduate students (500 young women, 313 young men, M age = 20...) who were mainly European American (79%), unmarried (100%) and living outside their parents’ home (90%).
GP: It is quite interesting that this study would appear in conservative Utah at a time when a renewed effort to legislate video games is underway there.