A new study has found that almost one in 10 kids who play video games showed classic signs of addiction to the pastime, lying about their habit, failing in efforts to cut back and even stealing to buy new games.
The study by Dr Douglas Gentile, a psychology professor at Iowa State University, was published in the journal Psychological Science and used data from a Harris Poll of nearly 1 200 children ages eight to 18 from across the US.
The survey found that 88% of US kids played video games at least occasionally, and on average children play about 13 hours of video games a week. Those showing signs of addiction could log double the hours.
Boys most addicted
"That's over three million kids who are taking damage to multiple areas of their lives and probably need some type of help," Gentile said.
The addicted gamers are far more likely to be boys.
They report having trouble paying attention in school, receive poorer grades in school and have more health problems.
Pathological gamers usually had a video-game console in their rooms and were more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with an attention-deficit disorder. – (Sapa, April 2009)
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