Seniors who play video games report better sense of emotional well-being

March 5, 2013
Seniors who play video games report better sense of emotional well-being
New research from North Carolina State University finds that older adults who play video games report higher levels of emotional well-being. Credit: Anne McLaughlin, North Carolina State University

New research from North Carolina State University finds that older adults who play video games report higher levels of emotional well-being.

Researchers asked 140 people aged 63 and older how often they played video games, if at all. The then took a battery of tests to assess their emotional and social well-being. 61 percent of study participants played video games at least occasionally, with 35 percent of participants saying they played at least once per week.

The study found that participants who played video games, including those who only played occasionally, reported higher levels of well-being. Those who did not play video games reported more and a tendency toward higher levels of depression.

"The research published here suggests that there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning," says Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of a paper describing the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State. "We are currently planning studies to determine whether playing digital games actually improves in . "

Explore further: Video games linked to poor relationships with friends, family

More information: The paper, "Successful aging through digital games: Socioemotional differences between older adult gamers and non-gamers," was published online this week in Computers in Human Behavior.

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