Video Games May Improve Social Skills in Children

New scientific evidence suggests playing video games could be linked to higher intellect and social skills in children.

Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York analysed mental health data relating to thousands of children between the ages of six and 11 from across Europe.

Taking into consideration various developmental factors, the team found that children who took part in high video game usage had a 1.75 times increase in the odds of high intellectual functioning.

The team found correlations between high game usage and relationships and social skills including that children were 1.88 times more likely to have "high overall school competence" than their non-game playing counterparts.

Despite previous concerns around the effect video games can have on child development, the researchers did not find a link between video game playing and mental health problems in children.

However, Katherine M. Keyes, PhD, an assistant epidemiology professor at the Mailman School who worked on the study, cautioned against over-interpretation of the findings, saying that "setting limits on screen usage remains an important components of parental responsibility as an overall strategy for student success."

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