Norway: gaming could affect girls’ but not boys’ social skills

05 June 2019

A study from Norway looking at how playing video games affects social skills has found differences based on age and gender.

The researchers studied 873 children every two years for six years at the ages of six to 12, looking at how much time they spent on video games, and measuring social competence. 

Their findings, reported in Child Development, suggest that the time boys spent gaming did not affect their social development, but that girls who spent more time gaming at age 10 developed weaker social skills two years later compared to girls who spent less time playing games.

Children who struggled socially at ages eight and 10 were more likely to spend more time playing video games at ages 10 and 12.

The authors say the reason some children and adolescents spend a lot of spare time playing games warrants attention. ‘It might be that poor social competence drives youth’s tendency to play video games for extensive periods,’ said co-author Lars Wichstrøm.


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