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Study Finds Video Game Playing Not Harmful For Majority of Adolescents

As video game playing becomes more and more popular, concerns have arisen regarding long-term effects on teenagers such as decreased sleep and poor sleep quality, aggressive behaviors, and poor social skills. According to a new study, approximately 90% of teenagers who play video games do not suffer from negative long-term consequences.

This long-term study included 385 adolescents with an average age of 15 at the beginning of the study. Over a six-year period, they completed multiple questionnaires once per year that measured depression, anxiety, aggression, delinquency, empathy, social behavior, shyness, financial stress, and sensory reactivity.

The researchers found that 90% of the participants did not suffer long-term negative consequences related to video game playing. The other 10% were classified as being pathological video game players, and displayed higher levels of depression, aggression, shyness, and anxiety compared to non-pathological gamers as they grew into adulthood. Participants in the pathological group tended to be male with low levels of prosocial behavior.

The study was conducted by researchers from Brigham Young University. It was published online ahead of print on April 30, 2020 in the journal Developmental Psychology.

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