Playing Video Games Reduces Risk of Depression, Says Study

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Recent research has revealed that boys who engage in playing video games at the age of 11 are less likely to develop depressive symptoms. The study led by a University College London (UCL) researcher demonstrates how different types of screen time can positively or negatively influence young people’s mental health, and may also impact boys and girls differently.

The research team from UCL reviewed data collected from 11,341 adolescents who were part of the Millennium Cohort Study. It is a nationally representative sample of young people who have been involved in research since they were born in the UK in 2000-2002. The researchers examined prospective associations of video gaming, social media, and internet use with depressive symptoms in adolescents.

According to the results, boys playing video games most days, at least once a week, and at least once a month at age 11 had lower depression symptoms at age 14 by 24.2%, 25.1%, and 31.2% respectively. However, for girls, using social media most days at the age of 11 was associated with 13% higher depression scores at age 14. Thus, different types of screen-time may have contradictory associations with depressive symptoms during adolescence.

To Know More, You May Refer To:

A. Kandola, N. Owen, D. W. Dunstan, M. Hallgren. Prospective relationships of adolescents’ screen-based sedentary behaviour with depressive symptoms: the Millennium Cohort Study. Psychological Medicine, 2021; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0033291721000258

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