Video game usage is problematic among boys with ADHD and autism

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Boys with ADHD or autism are spending too much time playing video games according to study. The study found that boys with these disorders are more likely to exhibit addictive behaviour in relation to videogame play. 

The study, authored by Micah Mazurek, PhD of the University of Missouri, and Christopher Engelhardt, PhD of the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, appears online in "Pediatrics."
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Researchers examined questionnaires completed by parents of 56 boys with autism and 44 boys with ADHD between the ages of 8 and 18. Parents of 41 boys without these disorders also completed questionnaires. The questionnaires asked for information on the amount of time the children spent playing video or computer games.
After analysing the data, the researchers concluded that boys with autism spent almost twice as much time playing video games as their peers. Video game play was also significantly higher for the boys with ADHD. The researchers also found that the boys in these groups showed signs of video game addiction.
According to daily RX, the authors stated, “These results suggest that children
 with [autism] and those with ADHD may be at particularly high risk for significant problems related to video game play, including excessive and problematic video game use. Children with [autism] and those with ADHD experience difficulties with impulse control and response inhibition, and these problems appear to be closely related to video game preoccupation.”
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The authors of the study cautioned that a causal relationship should not be drawn from these findings and that further study is needed.
The National Institutes for Health recommends these tips for reducing screen time.
  • Set a good example and limit your own screen time to two hours per day
  • Use a screen time chart to track family usage
  • Make a house limit of two hours of screen time and enforce it
  • Don’t put a television or computer in your children’s bedrooms
  • Provide children with other options instead of playing video games
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has more tips for limiting your children’s screen time.
Sources: Autistic boys spend more time on video games on MedPage today.
When video gaming gets too serious on daily RX.

This article originally appeared on

©Mary M Conneely T/A Advocacy in Action

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