Top 10 negative effects of video games on children

Excessive television viewing and computer game playing have been associated with many symptoms in recent years. We examine the most common negative outcomes of video games that have been studied. Read on to learn the possible negative effects video games can have on children.

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Many parents worry, no doubt, about the effect video games have on their children. We list the ten most common problems recently investigated by researchers from 2006-present.

  1. An increase in emotional disorder symptoms
  2. An increase in and behavioral disorder symptoms
  3. Declines in verbal memory performance
  4. Somatic complaints
  5. Attention problems such as hyperactivity, ADD or ADHD
  6. Detrimental school performance (as video game usage increases, GPA and SAT scores decrease)
  7. Family interaction problems such as less positive parental relations
  8. Significant reduced amounts of slow-wave (REM) sleep
  9. Modifications in visual selective attention
  10. Playing violent video games is a significant risk factor for later physically aggressive behavior
Reference Sources: Pediatrics 2008 Nov;122(5):e1067-72
European Psychiatry 2008 Apr;23(3):212-8
Journal of Psychiatry Research 2008 Mar;42(4):253-8
Pediatrics 2007 Nov;120(5):978-85
Cyberpsychology & Behavior 2007 Aug;10(4):552-9
Psychological Science 2007 Jan;18(1):88-94
Pediatrics 2006 Oct;118(4):e1061-70


Males are more attracted to, and more likely to become “hooked” on video games than females which has been found to generalize across very different cultures. So being male significantly predicts computer gaming.  It’s also possible that aggression and narcissistic personality traits can predict game addiction, whereas self-control is negatively correlated with game addiction.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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