1 in 10 at risk

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Roughly ten percent of young people who play video games for 30 hours or more every week may be more susceptible to mental health issues like depression, according to new research.

A new study of over 3,000 children in the journal Pediatrics says nearly 1 in 10 kids are pathological gamers — those whose playing interferes with the routines of everyday life and displaying behavior not unlike that of gambling addicts.

KFWB’s Maggie McKay asked family therapist Susan Stone how parents should handle their children’s gaming habits.

Some of the risk factors for problem gaming include poor social performance and greater impulsiveness, with many gamers more likely to have depression, anxiety, and bad grades at school.

However, researchers were careful to point out that while gaming may not be the source of mental health issues, it may serve to dramatically worsen the symptoms.

“Although children who are depressed may retreat into gaming, the gaming increases the depression,” according to Douglas A. Gentile, a psychologist at Iowa State University and one of the study’s co-authors.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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