We've had one or two threads on this article, but I've been looking for time to read the full report and write a brief review.
The ink was still warm on the paper when the game industry and its advocates were condemning Dr. Gentile's findings:
-The questions were too hard for eight year-olds to understand -The survey was done in January when more kids are indoors playing games, rather than outside playing sports in good weather
-The sample size wasn't truly representative because there weren't enough minority kids -There's no such thing as video game addiction -Using gambling addiction criterion as a springboard for his research/questions makes the whole thing invalid
-Gentile's relationship with the National Institute on Media and the Family calls the results into question
-There's no such thing as video game addiction! (saying it louder makes them right)
This is the first National representative sample to take a serious look at the issue of video game addiction. The sample size is large and diverse enough for high validity. Previous 'convenience samples' haven't given the same level of confidence in research. Bottom line: this is a good study of > 1100 American kids from every region of the country.
The findings show pathological gaming rates of 8-8.5%. Dr. Gentile uses measures of various behaviours related to gaming, such as getting in trouble at school, failing to complete chores etc. The children/youth were asked to respond 'Yes,' 'Sometimes.' etc. to each question, and the results were compiled accordingly.
Beyond addiction, the study also sought to learn more about parental influence: -Only about half of the homes had rules about gaming -22% of 8-11 year-olds and 41% of 12-14 year-olds in the study owned Mature (17+) rated games -Some youth (7%) admitted to buying these games without their parents' knowledge Dr. Gentile asks - like any good researcher - about correlations in his research.
Does gaming cause ADHD or are kids with ADHD drawn to gaming for a sense of mastery and control? This is an important question. You may wish to refer to the following article in the Journal of European Psychiatry. It affirms, "while no differences concerning video game use were found, ADHD children exhibited more problems associated with video game playing. It seems that a subgroup of ADHD children could be vulnerable to developing dependence upon video games."
Quote:S. Bioulac et al. (2008) Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and video games: A comparative study of hyperactive and control children. European Psychiatry 23 134-141.
The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
-Alfred Lord Tennyson