By Dr. Brent Conrad, Clinical Psychologist at TechAddiction.ca
A new study has found that young adults who remember their parents as being overly stick, demanding, and without being affectionate, tended to be more likely to have problematic Internet use (often referred to as Internet Addiction).
As this is obviously a correlational finding (and we all know that correlation does not imply causation), the authors suggest that other factors may be at play.
For example, kids with very demanding parents who lack affection may experience mood problems, may have difficulty relating to peers in person, or may struggle to making friends in general…which may cause them to retreat to online games for comfort and support.
The study of 600 adults concluded that almost 2% of men and 0.6% of women could be classified as “severely addicted”.
The take home message is pretty simple isn’t it? Be an authoritative, not an authoritarian parent. Set reasonable expectations for your children, but don’t expect perfection and 100% obedience all the time. And always show that you care for them and love them.
Doing so may protect not only against Internet Addiction, but will likely prevent many (many) other problems as well.
Original Article: Parenting Style and Internet Addiction
For the very first time, Canadians are spending more time online than watching TV.
“Some industry watchers have noted the cost of watching TV is rising as cable TV companies and satellite operators raise the monthly cost of service. As that happens more people are watching TV online for free.”
“For the younger generations, the computer is much more important than the television and they generally spend more time online than those over 55”
Sydney University psychiatry professor Vladan Starcevic has urged Austrilia to consider a gaming rebhab centre similar to the one recently opened in London.
According to his own research with a sample of 2000 individuals, one in ten gamers showed signs of addiction.
“We have people in this country who do have a problem with that just like with gambling and other addictive behaviours,”
All well and good, but I’m not crazy about the untested methodology used by many of the recently opened inpatient facilities. Also, I am very much against the tens of thousands of dollars charged by the centres for treatment – it just seems blatantly exploitative.
As promised, it is not all doom (the adverse fate, not the game) and gloom (the state of melancholy, not the Pokemon) here at the TechAddiction Blog.
A new report by the Sesame Workshop has outlined some of the positive effects of playing video games.
If games are played in moderation, are age appropriate, and avoid violent content, some of the potential benefits include:
– Exposure to new vocabulary words, history, and science concepts
– Improved math and complex problem solving skills
– Improved “Systems Thinking” (how changing one element affects larger relationships)
– Improved physical health (for “active” and fitness games)
For more details, check out the full report.
According a NPD survey of 20,000 individuals, the percentage of females who play videogames increased from 23% in 2008 to 28% in 2009.
– Female gamers in the “extreme” category (more than 39 hours per week) increased by 4%
– 39% of total gaming time is spent with online games
Following up on the previous post regarding videogame addiction in children, Michael Gallagher, the president of Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has challenged the conclusions of the researchers and suggests that the study used “flawed methodology.”
“Gallagher goes on to point out that Gentile conceded in an interview that he was unaware that the sample group for the study was not randomly chosen, but instead comprised of a ‘convenience’ sample of individuals who agreed to participate in the survey.”
This is often a problem you run into when conducting research – true random selection is quite elusive and samples of convenience are certainly not as desirable.
The question is, on a survey asking about videogame habits, who is most likely to respond – those who are light or moderate players, or those who play excessively?
Obviously, your sample selection influences your results – and I suspect that such a study may over-sample somewhat on the hard-core gamer side.
A national study at Iowa State University has concluded that 8.5% of American youths (8 – 18 years old) who play videogames “show multiple signs of behavioral addiction.”
“It’s not that the games are bad.It’s that some kids use them in a way that is out of balance and harms various other areas of their lives.”
As is common in this field, the researchers adapted the diagnostic criteria for gambling addiction to define who is and who isn’t addicted. Gamers were considered “pathological” if they reported 6 of the 11 symptoms.
- Compared to girls, four times as many boys were considered addicted
- Children considered pathological gamers did worse in school
- Those considered addicted were twice as likely to have attention deficit disorder
- 88% of kids play videogames
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) recently released the annual “Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry” report.
A few findings:
- 68 % of American households play videogames
- 42% of homes have a gaming console
- The average age of players is 35
- Females make up 43% of online gamers
“This is the new golden age of entertainment software. Our products are now being enjoyed by over two-thirds of Americans”
Also, according to the study, parents are present 92% of the time when games are rented or purchased. If accurate, this is encouraging. Of course, being “present” does not necessarily mean that parents are informed about the content of the purchase…