Study: Gamers spend less time on homework

July 5, 2007

Playing video games may mean students spend less time on homework or reading, two U.S. researchers found.

Based on data from diaries by 1,500 U.S. children and teens ages 10-19, researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas-Austin reported "adolescent gamers spent 30 percent less time reading and 34 percent less time doing homework" than their non-gaming counterparts.

The study showed both groups spend a similar amounts of time with parents and friends, but homework was something else, WebMD.com reported.

"Although gamers and non-gamers did not differ in the amount of time they spent interacting with family and friends, concerns regarding gamers' neglect of school responsibilities (reading and homework) are warranted," the researchers said.

Participants kept diaries twice weekly -- once during the week and once on weekends. More than a third of the group, 36 percent, reported playing video games, the researchers said. About 80 percent were boys.

On average, participants played video games an hour on weekdays and 90 minutes on weekend days, data showed. Boys tended to spend more time than girls playing video games.

The study appears in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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