New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of Addiction

April 20, 2009 -

A new study claims that one in twelve (8.5%) of gamers age 8-18 shows signs of being addicted to their hobby.

The research, conducted by Iowa State University and the National Institute on Media and the Family, compared the young gamers' playing habits to the American Psychiatric Association’s list of symptoms of gambling addiction.

The 8.5% of study subjects who showed addictive traits indicated behaviors such as:

•    Lying to family and friends about video game usage
•    Using video games to escape from problems or bad feelings
•    Becoming restless or irritable when attempting to stop playing video games
•    Skipping homework in order to play video games
•    Doing poorly on a school assignment or test because they spent too much time on games.

ISU Prof Douglas Gentile (left) commented on his findings:

Many parents have been worried about their children being ‘addicted’ to video games. While the medical community currently does not recognize video game addiction as a mental disorder, hopefully this study will be one of many that allow us to have an educated conversation on the positive and negative effects of video games.

NIMF president David Walsh added:

This study is a wake-up call for families. While video games can be fun and entertaining, some kids are getting into trouble. I continue to hear from families who are concerned about their child’s gaming habits. Not only do we need to focus on identifying the problem, but we need to find ways to help families prevent and treat it.

The ISU/NIMF study used data collected in a Harris Interactive Poll that surveyed 1,178 American youth, aged 8 to 18.

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the study here.

GP: Perhaps a small point, but the press release for this research continually refers to "nearly one out of ten" respondents being addicted to video games. However, the 8.5% addiction result determined by the research is actually much nearer to one in twelve (8.33%); we've represented it as such in this article.

UPDATE: Grand Theft Childhood co-author Dr. Cheryl Olson offers some criticism of the study methodology employed by Prof. Gentile.


Comments

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

 There are some who use Video Games as the Opiates of the 21st century. Helps pass the time and escape your real life.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

As I say with all of these studies, "show me your detailed before and after neurological scans that prove a biochemical dependency or shut the fuck up".

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

So what? A few addiction symptoms does not equate to addiction. Hell, if you look through the DSM-IV most people have 3 or 4 symptoms of schizophrenia, does that mean we're all schizophrenic?

They're doing the same thing in this study that you're warned against in abnormal psychology classes when you start: a few symptoms does not mean you have the illness.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

Hey look, new study shows 8.5% of kids lie in online polls.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

Harris Poll? Sounds so familiar... Oh wait, it is! This was covered two years ago!

http://vgresearcher.wordpress.com/

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

 

Lying to family and friends about video game usage-Oh yeah, I bet they do.  Look everybody lie including me ok, it's not video game.
    

Using video games to escape from problems or bad feelings-What about reading book, watching TV, or just doing research on a topic in your favorite subject ( I do that).  Are we going to blame those also.
 

Becoming restless or irritable when attempting to stop playing video games-So all the teenagers are rebellious in the 1950's and 60's because of video game, right?
 

Doing poorly on a school assignment or test because they spent too much time on games-or maybe they have stress or other factor.  Are we going after those also? 
 

Skipping homework in order to play video games-Has it ever occurred to them that any people can skip homework for any reason beside video game.

OK, I guess video game addiction, so what.  A lot of us don't have addiction.  video game does not equal drugs.  There are other factor that can make them lazy.  It's not video game fault.
    

 

 

mikedo2007

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

Wait, a Craig Anderson cronie finds something bad about videogames? That's amazing!

There's no story here. Gentile has published lots of papers with Craig Anderson (here is Gentile's list of publications http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~dgentile/publications.htm ). Anderson has never met a form of media that didn't have negative effects. This is like Jack Thompson saying videogames are murder simulators.

 

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

*SIGHS* This idiot again? It's clear he has an agenda whether it be for money err "funding", attention or he's a tool of NIMF(O) and other groups. Gotta love the wording of this, basically an example of what every kid/teenager does and can be applied to a million other things.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

I tell my wife I'm tidying my office when in truth.... I'm not.

What am I addicted to?

other addictions...

Study also shows that 9 of 10 teenage boys are addicted to boobs.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

"but we need to find ways to help families prevent and treat it. "

 

You know if parents actually were to omg actually PARENT then this is treated, simply and easy. 

If the kid is

1) Lying to family and friends about video game usage this shows poor parenting, because parents should know what their kid it up to, maybe not 24x7 but at least enough to know little johnny has been no the Wii for 16 hours straight

2)  Using video games to escape from problems or bad feelings well then there is something wrong with your kid, and WHY the HELL don't you know your kid enough to realize he needs an escape...  

3) Becoming restless or irritable when attempting to stop playing video games, this is probably stretched between boredom and just plain brattiness.    Boredom is cured by giving your kid something else to do,  brattiness is cured by parenal discipline,  both of which are solved by good parenting.

4) Skipping homework in order to play video games.  WHAT?!?  where the hell are these PARENTS... HOMEWORK first possibly if you have a good kid(s) let them have a 30 min to 1 hour break after school with very defined time when this break ends THEN HOMEWORK.  And they sit in a public area to do said homework.   Once again shows bad parents.

5)Doing poorly on a school assignment or test because they spent too much time on games.  ONCE AGAIN, where the HELL are the PARENTS?  If the kid is spending TOO much time on GAMEs where were the parents to switch it off and say get busy.

 

This isn't a sign that kids are addicted to games it is direct evidence that this nation is plagued with BAD PARENTS.    There should be a strict licensing system before someone is allowed to be a parent.  Thank you NIMF you've given me reason 612 to promote legislation for Parental Licensing.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

So your definition of bad parent is "has failed to teach sufficient self-discipline and/or time management skills to their kid."?

That's something that can be hard for even the best parents to do depending on the kid in question.

-Gray17

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

I think the idea is less about "failed to teach..." and more about "doesn't bother to even try to teach..."

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

 Can't really tell that by the results though... i mean just because you TRY to teach a child something doesn't mean you are necessarily gonna succeed... so "failing" would be a better term to use than "not trying"... Hell, god knows i still tried to pull fast ones on my parents despite their teaching; kids are notorious for not listening or getting the message

We can't tell whether or not they tried, all we know is that they failed; whether it be not doing a good enough job, or not doing any job at all 

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

This is nothing new, nor are the reasons given actual signs of addiction.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

1) Lying to family and friends about video game usage
2) Using video games to escape from problems or bad feelings
3) Becoming restless or irritable when attempting to stop playing video games
4) Skipping homework in order to play video games
5) Doing poorly on a school assignment or test because they spent too much time on games.

1- Kids do not find games to be serious enough an issue to tell the truth about. To them lying about your gaming habits is nothing more than a little white lie that is harmless... Compare this to gambling, the waste of money can be very serious, espeically if that money happens to be helping support a household as it is with the case with adults; essentally if you lying about something THAT important then you may have some problems going on... lying about video games is just dishonest, but lying about loosing money could be seen as being harmful... as such lying about one would be easy as you feel guilt free, but the requires you to deal with pressure of guilt and possible money problems

2- A very common element amognst teens as ANY form of entertainment or activity could be used as an escape... even sports can be used as an escape

3- maybe, though this could be connected to them needing something to do... give them homework and ofcourse their gonna get restless; not just for games but anything else

4- Fact, many kids are irresponcible... they would rather do something fun then do work. This is not an indication of addiction, as it could EASILY be the case that the kids are just lazy; their not addicting to games so much as they just don't want to do homework... if they did not have games, they would likely do something else to avoid doing homework

5- same as 4

 

the way i see it, only number 3 has any possible merit.... the rest is just a load of BS

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

Be fair, they're not technically lying.  One in twelve is almost one in ten, which is almost one in eight, which is practically one in one, which is AAH SPIDERS!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

---
The Mammon Philosophy

---
Fangamer

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

Oh god I think Im addicted to books ...

not do homework because I was reading a book ::check::

lie that my homework was done ::check::

do poorly in class due to missed homework because I was up all night reading ::check::

become irrational and irratible because I had to put the book down for together time ::check::

 

Holy crap I have been addicted since I was a kid and I still am I only got a couple hours of sleep because I was reading DirectX 9 from a shader perspective ... ::SOB:: ... someone please help me.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

*comfie* hush now.. it's ok.. we are here to help you break your addiction to all this free spirited learning that has obviously corrupted your life.  Everything will be all right.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

This study is a wake-up call for families. While video games can be fun and entertaining, some kids are getting into trouble. I continue to hear from families who are concerned about their child’s gaming habits. Not only do we need to focus on identifying the problem, but we need to find ways to help families prevent and treat it.

Hmm maybe the problem isn't so much that kids play games its that parents do not limit the childs gaming time. When I was in school and my grades started to slip my mom limited me to 1 hour of tv/games a day. How did I cope? I was either doing my schoolwork, outside with friends, spending time with my family or reading books. Problem solved.

 

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

A new study claims that one in twelve (8.5%) of gamers age 8-18 shows signs of being addicted to their hobby.

So let me get this straight. 8 year old children, kids that haven't yet reached the developmental milestone that lets you trust them to properly help around the house, are addicted.

Not stopping there, they're claiming that children in general, still going through various stages of growth and maturing, at various stages of being able to handle adult responsiblities, are addicted.

Not chemically addicted as in the case with drugs or alcohol, by psychologically addicted as with gambling, or food.

Yeah, I'm calling BS on this one.

-Gray17

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

"Using video games to escape from problems or bad feelings"

It's sad to use "escape" in place of "deal with", "let out", or likewise terms. Sometimes, people need an outlet for their feelings, so they can level off or calm down and get back to normal. Having or expressing bad feelings is not in fact a bad trait, nor is being able to handle them. Unfortunately, in a lot of these sorts of studies, the parties behind it seem to view it that way. But then again, very often they're the sort of people who believe in the old "suck it up and shut up about it" mentality, which has worked out so well for stability, relationships, self-confidence, and of course mental illness.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

I agree with some of the signs but I don't see this as a mental disorder.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

Remember...this is the guy some folks here have described as "the voice of reason"...hopefully we can begin to see that he is not...not at all.  He has a *clear* axe to grind here...not every dogmatic opponent of video games is going to have the hysterical persona of JT.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

i am pretty sure i saw an interview with this guy on fox news at about 115pm est

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

OMG NEWSFLASH! Apparently, breakthrough studies have shown that some kids are lazy brats!

TELL THE WORLD! THE PEOPLE MUST KNOW!

I find it hilarious that skipping homework to play games is a sign of "addiction". I know from experience that a kid will do pretty much ANYTHING to skip homework.

Also, "Using video games to escape from problems or bad feelings" is a sign of addiction to games... Would it not make more sense to try and find and alleviate the causes of the problems and bad feelings, rather than try to demonize the very activity that gives them some little relief? That's like saying "This child is being abused by his/her parents, so they write constantly in her diary. The child is obviously addicted to writing in that diary!".

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

I find it hilarious that skipping homework to play games is a sign of addiction."

*******************

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I'm addicted to games!

...

And mowing the lawn!

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

Video Game Addiction as a 'mental disorder' are you kidding me?  Why in the world does everything have to have such a serious classification?

Shock - people that enjoy their hobbies get entrenched in their hobbies.  While some can certainly get obsessed with gaming, that doesn't mean it's a freaking 'mental disorder'.  I shudder to think of doctors trying to push pills to help with 'video game addiction'...

If a kid gets obsessed with gaming, it's typically because there's something in their real-life they are trying to escape or gain relief from...how about addressing those problems?

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

I used to skip homework to read books. Would that imply that reading is an addiction that i need cured?

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

Depends.  Were you reading books generally accepted as classic literature or were they comic books?

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of ...

Seeing that I've, at times, let my gaming get in the way of my homework/schoolwork and gotten agitated or even violent when not allowed to play games in the past, I can see where this study is going.

It is possible to become additicted or obsessed, if you'd like to use a better word, with anything that you enjoy, including games.

Thats not to say that it should be legislated or treated as a disease.. Just pointing out that its possible.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

1 in 12 young gamers show signs of parents not knowing how to unplug the TV when the kid still has homework to do. Lets take a look at the signs...

1 Lying about what they are doing.... Every teenager does that

2 Escaping from problems with some hobby.... Every teenager does that

3 Becoming resless or irritable.... Again common ground for teenagers since dawn of time

4 Skipping homework to do something fun.... Par for the course

5 Doing poorly at school assignments/tests... what is new?

Stop trying to blame games for "problems" that have been around for decades

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

*nods* I would be curious to see how the same test would come out when applied to essentially every OTHER adolecent activity.  To me this reads like 'being a kid means you are addicted'.  Esp since part of gambling addition is, in general inability to handle adult responsiblities.

Re: New Study: One in Twelve Young Gamers Shows Signs of

The stupid thing is that at least a couple of these things are issues with time management. Which is something you're supposed to learn as a kid. So it's partially claiming that kids are addicted because they haven't learned time management yet.

-Gray17

 
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