Useful facts about attention spans and video games

October 5, 2015

People with ADHD tend to enjoy video games, but there's scant evidence that the games cause or contribute to the condition. Here's why.

Useful facts about attention spans and video games

Do computer games cause ADHD?

  • It's a good question, and one that hasn't been completely answered.
  • There have been several small studies investigating the issue, and most haven't found any causal link between video games and ADHD.

The research is flawed

  • There's a definite chicken-and-egg conundrum when it comes to video games and ADHD.
  • One recent study found that those who played video games for more than one hour a day showed more symptoms of ADHD than those who played for less time.
  • On the other hand, experts know that children and teens with ADHD tend to enjoy the rapid stimulation of playing video games. This could explain the connection.
  • An important note on the study: only two kids involved actually were actually diagnosed with ADHD.

Overexposure may cause problems

  • More severe symptoms of inattention and ADHD behaviour were found in students who played video games for more than one hour.
  • But the connection between video games and ADHD is still unclear.
  • Research has found that heavy internet users are more likely to exhibit ADHD symptoms, but again, studies haven't pinned down any causal effect.

Limiting video games is still a good idea

  • Limit your video game time to less than an hour a day, and set similar limits for youngsters.
  • The heavy gamers in one study of high school students also got worse grades and had poorer social relationships than those who played video games less than an hour a day.
  • There is one benefit to video games: playing them does seem to produce better hand-eye coordination.

Video-game haters like to blame many of society's ills on Pong and its spawn. But the highly lamented "short attention span" of the most recent generations may not be video games' fault. Either way, regulating video game time is never a bad idea, for you or the kids.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu