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Parents should give their children more game time, Study finds

Parents should give their children more game time, Study finds

A study shows that parents should give their children more game time. When children spend hours upon hours on computer games, many parents feel bad. Some parents are concerned that their children will become less intelligent as a result of it.

Indeed, scientists have been arguing about this topic for years. Recently, more than 5,000 youngsters aged ten to twelve were interviewed and tested. They were part of a new study which looked into how computer games affect their cognition.

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Some will be surprised by their findings, which were published in Scientific Reports.
Children were asked how much time they spent on social media, viewing videos, watching TV or playing electronic games per day.

A lot of hours, was the answer. Children spent an average of two and a half hours per day viewing internet videos or TV shows. They spent half an hour socializing online and one hour playing video games.

That amounts to four hours each day for the ordinary youngster and six hours for the top quarter of the population — a significant percentage of a child’s free time. Other studies have revealed that this has risen considerably over time. Screens were there in past generations but they have now become synonymous with children.

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A study shows that parents should give their children more game time

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? It’s tricky, to say the least. For children’s developing minds, there may be both advantages and disadvantages. And it’s possible that these will vary depending on the outcome you’re striving for.

The influence of screen time on intelligence—the ability to learn efficiently, think sensibly, comprehend complicated ideas and adjust to new situations—was the focus of their research.

Intelligence is a valuable trait in our lives since it is a strong predictor of a child’s future earnings. This also includes happiness and longevity. It’s frequently tested in studies as performance on a variety of cognitive exams.

For their research, they used five tasks to create an intelligence index: two on reading comprehension and vocabulary, one on attention and executive function; one on visual-spatial processing and one on learning ability over multiple trials.

This isn’t the first instance scientists have looked at the impact of screens on intelligence; the results have been varied. So, what makes this time different? The research is unique in that it takes into account both genes and socioeconomic status.

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So far, just a few studies have taken into account socioeconomic position (family income, parental education, and neighborhood quality) and none have taken genetic influences into account.

Intelligence is largely heritable, hence genes matter. These factors, if left unaccounted for, could obscure the true impact of screen time on children’s intelligence. Children born with certain genes, for example may be more likely to watch television and as a result, have learning difficulties.

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Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development project

The lottery of genetics is a major confounder in any psychological process. However, because of the high cost of genome analysis and technological restrictions, it has been difficult to account for in scientific investigations until recently.

The data used in their research came from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development project, which is a huge data collection initiative in the United States aimed at better understanding childhood development.

In terms of sex, color, ethnicity and socioeconomic position, the sample was representative of the United States.

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The results show that watching videos and socializing online were linked to below-average intelligence. Meanwhile, gaming wasn’t linked with intelligence at all. These results of screen time are mostly in line with previous research. But a follow-up study showed that gaming had a positive and meaningful effect on intelligence.

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