Friday, 23 Jan, 2009 Science

Video Games Lead to Poorer Relationships with Friends, Family?


According to a new research, carried out by Brigham Young University undergrad student Alex Jensen and his faculty mentor, Laura Walker, there is a direct link between the use of video games by young adults and their poor relationships with parents and friends.

The study and its results were published in the latest issues of "Journal of Youth and Adolescence". For their study researchers gathered information from 813 college students throughout the country. They noticed that the more time young adults play video games the poorer was the quality of their relationships with friends and family.

"It may be that young adults remove themselves from important social settings to play video games, or that people who already struggle with relationships are trying to find other ways to spend their time," Walker said.

College students involved in the study had to report about the amount of time they spend playing video games. At the same time they were interviewed about the quality of their relationships with peers and family. In particular they answered about the amount of trust, support and friendliness they share with their friends and family.

Still, the researchers mention that the connection they found is pretty modest, thus playing video games does not mean the end of relationships. "The most striking part is that everything we found clustered around video game use is negative," outlined Walker. In addition, statistical analyses showed that the young adults who spend time playing video games are more likely to get involved in risky activities such as drinking and drug abuse. Besides, those who play video games each day reported smoking pot about 2 times as often as young adults who play video games occasionally and almost 3 times as often as youngsters who don't play.

Researchers also found that young women had a lower self-esteem if they spent a lot of time playing video games. They also look forward to analyze the impact of video games on young couples.

The Brigham Young University is located in Provo, Utah, United States. It represents a private, coeducational research university. BYU is the largest religious university in the United States. It is also has the second-largest private university enrollment in the country.

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