Hyperactivity computer games link

Hyperactive children spend much longer playing computer games and watching TV than healthy children, researchers say.

They asked parents and teachers about the habits of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Children with ADHD were more likely to play games based on fighting.

Researchers told the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry conference in York children with ADHD may develop unnatural patterns of media use. Researchers analysed 24 boys between eight and 12 with a clinical diagnosis of ADHD, a condition where children have problems of paying attention and impulsive behaviour.

Children with ADHD spent 11.3 hours a week playing computer games, double the time spent by the other group. A third of those with ADHD preferred fighting-type video games while 59% preferred cartoons. In the other group, one in 10 enjoyed fighting games and 40% liked cartoons.

Teachers reported poor social abilities, rather than hyperactivity, were linked to computer games. They suggest children with ADHD may be prone to abnormal use of media which affects their social skills and how they respond to treatment.

Dr Justin Williams from the Department of Child Health at the University of Aberdeen, told BBC News Online: "The children who spend longest playing computer games seem to be the ones who are the least sociable.

News source: BBC News

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